For the most part, these shows are meant to be educational in the matter of safety and the hope of teaching the population to make better decisions. Many tv shows such as CSI, Law and Order, Bones, and some others are meant for entertainment purposes. They are fictional dramas that may be based on true events. These true crime dramas have caused many different reactions. For some they are just entertainment and they do not associate anything from the episodes into their daily lives, but for many others, this is not the case.
There is now something called the “CSI effect” where the exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on crime dramas actually influences public perception. Jurors are demanding more forensic evidence in criminal trials which actually raises the standard of proof for prosecutors. This turns into a “snowball” effect because as prosecutors demand more forensic evidence, so do the police in their investigations. The workload for crime laboratories has increased immensely and the number of forensic science programs in universities has greatly increased.
The popularity of true life law enforcement shows such as Cops, DEA, Most Wanted, U. S. Marshals, and some others have also grown. Not only are these shows becoming more popular on an entertainment level, but they are also becoming recruitment tools. Many people have made the decision to join the Border Patrol solely on what they have learned from watching the popular series on tv. True crime documentaries and TV shows have grown in popular culture, but are more than entertainment; they have inspired the pursuit of many different careers.