There are various motivations behind arsonists’ actions. By understanding these motivations, the Fire Investigator, along with other Criminal Justice professionals, can bring these bad actors to justice. However, once the investigation is complete, the challenge is not over. Choosing the appropriate intervention or punishment for arsonists is a controversial topic in the field.
***A large percentage of young juveniles, especially boys, will experiment with fire or fire setting behavior at some point. In what ways can we determine the difference between normal developmental explorations and potential future arsonists?
***Arson “for-profit” is often a way for property owners to fraudulently collect insurance proceeds on fires they are responsible for. Many of these property owners will hire someone to set the actual fires in an attempt to distance themselves from culpability. In that instance who do you feel should receive harsher punishment, the property owner who initiates the plan or the second person who carries out the crime?
***If a firefighter dies while attempting to extinguish an arson fire, should the arsonist be legally responsible for that death?
***Shockingly, on many occasions, volunteer firefighters have been found to have committed acts of arson. What do you feel may be motivating factors in that instance?