chapter  1
The Why and How of Report Writing
ByLarry S. Miller, John T. Whitehead
Pages 38

Most criminal justice professionals receive little training in writing reports. The simplest and most immediate form of writing is the log. In the criminal justice system, reports are written for many reasons. Corrections writing sometimes differs from that of law enforcement and security. In some smaller jurisdictions, the probation officer and parole officer may be the same person. Federal probation officers also conduct pretrial reports. The Standard Practice for Reporting Opinions of Scientific or Technical Experts provides a listing of the basic information that should be contained in forensic reports, including descriptive information, pertinent facts, and opinions or conclusions of the examiner. Real evidence for law enforcement, forensics, security, or corrections involves tangible, identifiable objects such as weapons, clothing, confiscated objects, semen, or blood. Although much of the information on real, direct, and circumstantial evidence used in law enforcement applies to security, there are significant differences as well.