Application of Computer and Technology in Criminal Justice
List of Figures
TOC \h \z \c "Figure" Figure 1: Results of Body-cam In Rialto, CA PAGEREF _Toc524677873 \h 6
Figure 2: Overall Number of Finished Emergency Calls PAGEREF _Toc524677874 \h 7
Figure 3: Murder rates in New York PAGEREF _Toc524677875 \h 8
Figure 4: Gunshots heard in Little Haiti, Overtown and Liberty City, 2017 PAGEREF _Toc524677876 \h 14
Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc524677550 \h 3Background PAGEREF _Toc524677551 \h 3Technology and Criminal Justice: Current Status PAGEREF _Toc524677552 \h 4In-car Computer Installations PAGEREF _Toc524677553 \h 5Computer Aided Dispatch PAGEREF _Toc524677554 \h 6Case management databases PAGEREF _Toc524677555 \h 7Rapid Identification PAGEREF _Toc524677556 \h 8Evidence Assets Recording PAGEREF _Toc524677557 \h 9Computer Simulation PAGEREF _Toc524677558 \h 9Future Prospects PAGEREF _Toc524677559 \h 10Robotics in Law Enforcement PAGEREF _Toc524677560 \h 10Use of Big Data for Advanced Applications PAGEREF _Toc524677561 \h 11Improved Detection, Position and Monitoring Systems PAGEREF _Toc524677562 \h 12Overall Impact PAGEREF _Toc524677563 \h 14Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc524677564 \h 16References PAGEREF _Toc524677565 \h 18
The current era is dubbed the information era for accurate reasons. Throughout, history, the connection between human beings has never been brought closer in terms of communication and interaction that it is being experienced currently. The application of various technologies most of which originate or are based on computers, has proliferated around the world like never before. Evidence of this phenomenon is noticeable in various subsystems of global civilization these include the medical field, education and virtually each and every system that is critical to human survival (Blumstein, 2018). Indeed, technology has taken over due to the fact that the resistance that existed initially in the process of adopting new technologies is slowly waning off. More and more people and organization are open to using technologies in their operations which has given the needed impetus for the innovators to develop more technologies. In this sector, the application of various technologies will be assessed focusing on the criminal justice. A look into the various current applications of computers in criminal justice, as well as the future prospect is relevant in establishing the overall impact that technology has had on the criminal justice department (Farrell & Tilley, 2017). Despite the initial concerns of including technology in criminal justice, the current state of events justifies the investments being made to incorporate more computer-related technologies to the department.
In the wake of technological advances, the use of computers has played a major role especially in criminal justice (Moriarty, (2017). Criminals’ records can be monitored using databases and it is easy to make a follow-up on crimes they have committed in the past and the charges against them. Forensics can also be conducted and investigations can now be carried out easily and very fast. Also, when one is linked to cases, they can be easily identified using forensics and fingerprints. Portable laptops have also helped police officers in getting information and any important details related to a crime at any place without having to go back to their working stations. James (2017), argues that unlike in the past, investigations are done faster due to internet connections and ease of communication between community members and investigative officers through the use of phone gadgets.
Computers have broad variance in usage which has been enhanced by computer applications. For instance, massive record keeping systems have relied for reference on criminal accounts, case records and unresolved warranties. Incorporation of technology in criminology has just made the career easy and also improved livelihoods (Blumstein, 2018). Many police units now use computerized applications to keep up with the ever-rising crimes. There are different applications being used nowadays, from mobile technology, to use in-car computers, CCTV camera installations and also software such as the Computer Aided Dispatch. Investigators often use programmed record management systems to monitor information they obtain and guard it properly (Farrell & Tilley, 2017). With the current technology, it is possible to detect impending crimes, track stolen goods and the culprits, tell which time a crime occurred and also who committed it and where.
Technology and Criminal Justice: Current Status
To start the current analysis, the various applications used in the criminal justice department will be outlined. These include the in-car computer installations, computer aided dispatch, video recording, case management databases, rapid identification, evidence assets recording, and computer simulation. These rationale for choosing these applications out of many how widely they are used as well as considering their effectiveness to the department as reported by various research studies considered based on the principles of research prescribed by Maxfield and Babbie, (2014).
In-car Computer Installations
In the U.S., there has been a widespread use of computers installed on patrol cars. One of the main use of these computers is to produce arrest reports on-the-go. Once an officer makes an arrest, they are required by law to type these reports. With these computers, these reports can be generated automatically easing the work that the officer has to do after the arrest as well as increasing the effectiveness of the entire arrest procedure. This way, the prosecution of culprits has become much faster than before (James, 2017). In addition, these computers are connected to a live server which means that what the police says happened is collated with the dashboard cameras that have been installed together with the computers to establish the truth. As well, the dashboard cameras are sometimes replaced with the on-body cameras depending on the discretion of each state (Blumstein, 2018). As such, cases of police misconduct and abuse of their authority and discretion has been effectively reduced as the graph below shows.
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1: Results of Body-cam In Rialto, CA
Source: John et al. (2014).
The above results are proof that the installation of computers and dashboard has helped to reduce the number of citizens’ complaints against the police officers as well as cases of police use of brutal and excessive force on the citizens (John et al., 2014). Clearly, these technologies are a step in the right direction for the entire criminal justice department in the U.S.
Computer Aided Dispatch
In the past, dispatchers had a tough task of using pen and paper to mark the locations of patrol officers so that when a call came in, they had to check who was closest to assist. Needless, to say, this system was hampered by errors and inaccuracies as patrol officers could sometimes be assumed to be closer but were far away and those that were near were assumed to be far. In the recent past, such challenges are a thing of the past. The use of GPS systems locked onto all patrol cars ensures that the police officers closest an emergency location were notified to attend to the issue accurately (Maras, 2015). What is more, the same system enables the dispatchers to link other officers to a scene that requires additional officers like say a shooting incident. This is effectively done and efficiently ensuring that the movement of officers is well coordinated and effective. As expected, this technology has increased the overall effectiveness of the police force in responding to calls from public as shown in the graphs below where the overall number of finished calls has increased over the last five years as reported by Sieja et al (2018).
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 2: Overall Number of Finished Emergency Calls
Source: Sieja et al. (2018)
Case management databases
The online systems discussed here are not only used by the police officers and investigators only. They are open for use by the court officers such as judges, the attorney and clerks. These parties use these systems to track pieces of evidence or information to help them make their decisions much more accurately. For instance, the public prosecutors and defenders have access to arrest affidavits and witness information instantly for them to prepare for their cases more formidably. Therefore, the ease of flow of information enhanced by technology has been a welcome blessing for the entire justice department from the law enforcers to the court system. This is who the justice department has become more effective over the last few years which effectively discouraged criminals from has committing crimes as explained by Moriarty (2017) through the figure below.
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 3: Murder rates in New York
Source: Moriarty (2017)
Another major innovation currently in use in the U.S police department is the use of the Rapid Id system. This is a system that avails information regarding criminal records and priors on all criminals to officers on site. In other words, when an officer is questioning a suspect on scene, they can take their fingerprints and run them through this system and if the suspects has any priors, the officers will know and will therefore change their approach. In the recent years, the FBI has made their criminal database of most wanted criminals in the country and abroad to this system so that when officers run a fingerprint that belongs to a wanted criminal, they will identify them with ease and arrest them with caution (Piza, Caplan & Kennedy, 2017). This has been lauded as a significant improvement in how police officers engage suspects especially th...