Hollywood Criminal Justice Under Fire

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Posted on: 03 May 2019 by George Cruesby

Criminal justice is popularized with plenty of detective movies and shows, but what is the real face of criminal justice?

Private investigating is a common job alternative for criminal justice careerists. Insurance companies, cuckolded spouses, and suspicious employers all have needs for PI's. It can be a fun job; the trick is not to get carried away. 

Anthony Pellicano and the men who hired him are probably guilty, at the very least, of getting carried away with their work.

Criminal Justice, Pellicano Style

Pellicano was Hollywood's most notorious private investigator. This past decade, he had a hand in nearly every scandal. Hired by some of the Hollywood's biggest power brokers, Pellicano, prosecutors allege, didn't stop at the law to fulfill his clients' needs. 

Most private criminal justice work is surprisingly sedate. Typical private investigators are hired to do in depth and perfectly legal background checks. Some are hired to track people in their everyday pursuits (usually philandering spouses or insurance frauds).

Hollywood P.I.

Hollywood tends to artificially inflate the job of private investigator, so it's not that surprising that Hollywood's most prominent PI stretched the job beyond the norm and the law. According to an indictment against Pellicano, his most common crime was to order illegal police checks on his clients' foes. Journalists, producers, actors, and screenwriters were all subject to illegal background searches.

Life Imitating Criminal Justice Art

Oddly enough, the crime actually resembles movie-land criminal justice. A common private investigator cliché is the old buddy, who still works in the police force and who (reluctantly) does a background check as a favor to the hero PI. 

No matter how innocuous it may seem in movies, looking someone up on a police database without official permission is highly illegal. Pellicano seems to have lost sight of this.

Criminal Justice Jobs

As Pellicano's career suggests, criminal justice jobs don't necessarily mean working for the government. Security (including private investigating) is a flourishing business. Major corporations and private individuals often hire criminal justice careerists. And the vast majority, unlike certain Hollywood big shots, does so absolutely legally. In every case, if you want to have a career in criminal justice, getting a degree is not enough to get a job. You have to write a competitive resume, know how to make a resume summary, and successfully pass your job interview.

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