CRJU145–Justice Information Systems

Week 7.5 Lecture

This final lecture looks to answer a number of questions justice administrators should ask when making decisions. Also, this lecture will look at information technology and justice education, and the future of technology in the justice system.

Police and IT

How can law enforcement agencies use technology when presented with these questions in their decision-making process?

  • Has a crime occurred in the eyes of a victim or a bystander?
  • Should a crime be reported to the police?
  • Should police be dispatched to the scene?
  • Should police regard the event as a crime?
  • Should investigators be called in?
  • Should an arrest be made?
  • Should search warrants be issued?
  • Should arrest warrants be issued?
  • Should a police officer fire at a suspect?
  • Should an alleged offender be detained in jail?
  • Can “hot spots” for particular types of crimes be identified at the neighborhood level?
  • Can and should the concerns of community residents be addressed, and if so how?
  • Should the police track the location and movement of known offenders in their community?

The Courts and IT

The use of Information Technology can have a profound effect on courts at all levels in considering the decision making questions asked in the course of court administration.

  • Should bail be set and at what amount?
  • Should release on recognizance be allowed?
  • Should an alleged offender be prosecuted?
  • Should an alleged offender enter a diversion program?
  • With what priority should prosecution be undertaken?
  • Is an alleged offender competent to stand trial?
  • Should motions be granted?
  • Is an alleged offender guilty?
  • Is an alleged offender not guilty due to insanity?
  • Should an offender be incarcerated or allowed to remain in the community?
  • How long should the sentence be?
  • Should there be special conditions to the sentence?
  • Have there been measurable changes in the mental health stated of offenders?

  • Have there been measurable changes in the substance abuse status of offenders?
  • Have there been measurable changes in the behavior or status of offenders and victims under the jurisdiction of reentry courts?

Corrections and IT

Information technology resources can be helpful in the day to day decision making in correction in many different ways

Institutional Incarceration

At intake

  1. What level of security and services does an offender need?
  2. To what programs, be it education, counseling, employment, etc., should an offender be assigned?

During Incarceration

  1. When and how should the levels of security change?
  2. Should an incarcerated offender be transferred?
  3. Should disciplinary reports be written?
  4. Is an offender guilty of disciplinary infractions?
  5. What are the appropriate sanctions for disciplinary violations?
  6. Should an offender be transferred to another facility or committed to a mental hospital?

On release from prison

  1. Should an incarcerated offender be paroled?
  2. How should the offender reentry process be structured?

Community Corrections

At intake

  1. What level of community security does an offender need?
  2. What special conditions of community supervision are needed?

During supervision

  1. Is the offender in compliance with the conditions of his or her release?
  2. How will compliance be monitored?
  3. Should disciplinary reports be written?
  4. Is the offender guilty of reported infractions?
  5. What are the appropriate sanctions for disciplinary violations?
  6. Should an offender’s parole, probation, or other community release be revoked?

On release from community supervision

  1. Should an offender be released or discharged from community supervision?
  2. Under various sex offender statutes, most communities receive a record of former inmates residing within their municipal boundaries. If so, whose responsibility is it to keep the database current?

IT and Criminal Justice Education

With the expansion of Information Technology throughout justice administration, there is an obvious and apparent need for formal education and training on the use of information technology resources. Colleges, universities, technical education systems, and police academies have a significant challenge keeping up with the ever changing technology available to justice administrators.

1995 – Academy for Criminal Justice Sciences established a committee with the goal of establishing minimum standards for criminal justice education.

1998 – ACJS published Minimum Standards for Criminal Justice Education Guidelines for College and University-Level Programs

2002 – Massachusetts Board of Higher Education created guidelines for police incentive programs.

It is suggested that information technology requirements continue to change and evolve, and possibly become a required standard to justice education programs, as a way to keep up with the constantly changing technology resources.

Five Prospects for the Future of Criminal Justice Technology

  1. Advances will continue, making information processing easier, faster and cheaper
  2. Criminal justice agencies will continue to integrate systems and facilitate data sharing
  3. New technology that will change the capacity to commit old crimes, as well as create opportunities for new crimes will be developed
  4. New technologies that will support the creation of new methodologies for dealing with criminal activity will be developed.
  5. Innovative management strategies to successfully implement technology in police, courts, and corrections agencies will be developed.

Three Challenges

Technology and Research
  1. There is limited research on how many technology resources will work within the justice system
  2. Technology changes so rapidly, that by the time research is done, the technology resource may be obsolete.
  3. Political, organizational, and social variable impact the decision making of justice administration

Technology and Privacy
  1. Constantly a concern, privacy of information is always a serious consideration for justice administration.
  2. Recent high profile media attention on privacy (NSA and Edward Snowden) have made people fearful of technology within the justice system

Technology and Society
  1. With every new addition of technology to aid in justice administration, there is just as many to facilitate criminal activity.
  2. As with the privacy challenge, there is a trust issue between society and the justice system.

Supplemental resources

In order to access this supplemental resource, you must click the downloadable PDF links below.

Future Technology in Law Enforcement.

By: Reed Jr., Ben. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. May2008, Vol. 77 Issue 5, p15-21. 7p. , Database: MasterFILE Premier