Criminal Justice and Technology

Topics: Police, Crime, Combined DNA Index System Pages: 4 (951 words) Published: February 3, 2011

Criminal Justice and Technology

Criminal Justice and Technology

Computer and telecommunications technologies in criminal justice system have developed at an extraordinary rate. Increased computing power, advances in data transmission and attractive and user-friendly graphic interfaces present law enforcement agencies with unprecedented capacity to collect, store, analyze and share data with stakeholders inside and outside of government.

Technology in criminal justice field represents a tool to help local law enforcement achieve its broadened and increasingly complex mission. But whether this capability is fully realized, and at what pace, is not a foregone conclusion. Preliminary studies suggest that if its integration is not well managed, some aspects of technology may meet with resistance among officers and other staff, particularly when such technology is perceived as unfairly intrusive or technically cumbersome.

Historically, technological innovation has served as the catalyst for dramatic changes in the organization of police work and has presented both opportunities and challenges to police and other criminal justice practitioners, according to Janet Chan, a social scientist who has studied how technology affects the way police do their jobs. Noting that information is the stocking- trade of policing, Chan has identified three general imperatives driving law enforcement’s investment in information technology:

1. A Technology-driven imperative to improve effectiveness and efficiency by increasing the capacity to store and process large volumes of data; Improving intelligence and investigative capabilities; and providing ready access to criminal records and other kinds of relevant data.

2. An Information-driven imperative to satisfy increasing demands to share data with external entities, including other government agencies, the public and...
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