Advances in criminal justice technology increase accuracy, accountability and efficiency
It’s an interesting time to be a bachelor’s degree student in Criminal Justice Administration as universities are often at the front of the line to learn about the technological advances in criminal justice. Whether it’s in victimology, DNA testing, computer forensics or other classes, virtually every course a criminal justice student takes will include new research and tools to assist every field in the criminal justice world.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Science and Technology identifies High-Priority Criminal Justice Technology Needs in order to better “protect the public, ensure officer safety, confirm the guilty and protect the innocent, improve the efficiency of justice, and enable informed decision-making.”
The NIJ Office of Science and Technology carries out programs that, by providing equipment, training and technical assistance, improve the safety and effectiveness of criminal justice technology as well as access to that technology by local, state, tribal and federal enforcement agencies.
Recent events, for example, have led to much discussion about audio and video availability to law enforcement officers, both to hold officers accountable, as well as to identify suspects and accurately portray how an event occurred. Local and state police departments, like Sinking Spring outside of Reading, are providing their officers with body cameras, and many believe it will become standard issue equipment very soon. Body cameras are also being introduced in Nassau County, New York along with Maryland, where there has been a move to change state law to allow body cameras usage on officers.
Other new advances in areas of criminal justice technology include:
- Increases in cyber forensic technology
- Improved hazard protection for law enforcement and corrections officers, for example lighter weight, more flexible ballistic- and stab-resistant body armor systems, and cost-effective methods to reduce heat-related stress without compromising protection and mobility
- Location monitoring systems
- Weapons detection systems
- Improved means to disseminate urgent public safety information, and improved emergency response systems