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New Jersey Arson Investigation and Prosecution Manual

NCJ Number
Date Published
703 pages
This manual contains the basic scientific and technical information pertinent to incendiary fires, New Jersey statutes and caselaw on arson and related offenses, suggested trial tactics for prosecuting arson cases, and other information relevant to arson investigations.
Basic information deals with the organization of a fire department and a police department, the chemistry and behavior of fire, and building construction. Chapters focusing on arson investigation cover the technical and legal considerations of fire scene investigation, interviews and interrogations, the intelligence process, the basics of fire insurance, motives, a psychological profile of the firesetter, arson fraud schemes, basic report writing, courtroom testimony and demeanor, and role of forensic science in arson investigations. Chapters also address the law of arson in New Jersey, racketeering, and arson and the juvenile. Chapters on the prosecution of arson cases consider the prosecutor's role in the investigation, the prosecutor's availability, reviewing a request for prosecution, presentation of an arson case before a grand jury, and the trial. The appendixes contain various model forms pertinent to arson cases as well as model jury charges for various arson-related offenses and sample arson indictments. The material is intended as a reference for novices as well as veterans of arson cases.