There is little doubt that the criminal justice system has undergone a tremendous change over the past half century with the advent of new technology. From DNA evidence to greater use of video monitors to other advanced techniques have changed the face of how crimes are prosecuted. The use of new and ever advancing technology not only helps law enforcement officials, but also makes it easier for the attorneys to do their respective job as well.
The Importance of Technology In Criminal Justice
Fingerprinting is still just as important today as it was when first introduced as a crime fighting tool. In fact, the basic principles of collecting fingerprints remain the same. However, DNA testing has certainly become one of the basic tools in law enforcement as well as a host of new tools and technologies.
The reach of these new technologies has allowed for less in the way of potential errors and mistakes in human judgment that might collapse the case against a suspect. Plus, new non-lethal means of stopping criminals, such as the Taser for example, offer law enforcement agencies more options in dealing with potential criminals.
Today, new technologies are coming online that will help increase both arrests and convictions. For law enforcement agencies, the recent advances that they have enjoyed are only the tip of the iceberg when compared to what lies in store for the future.
New Advances in Criminal Justice Technology
As reported in Computerworld, there are a number of new advances that are being used in law enforcement. From new drone technology to GPS to technologies that may actually challenge some of our most well established laws. Institutions of higher learning focusing on criminal justice need to make sure they are incorporating this new technology into their classrooms.
Drones: Perhaps the most controversial of all new technologies, drones can do more than just monitor traffic, they provide an immediate eye in the sky that can be sent quickly to any location. However, new laws may severely restrict their uses to emergency situations only.
GPS Darts: Instead of engaging in high speed pursuits, police officers can instead fire a dart into the vehicle that has a GPS locator inside. This allows police officers to back away from a dangerous high speed pursuit and instead track the vehicle to its ultimate destination to make the arrest.
Gunshot Detection: One of the trickier aspects in police work is locating where a gunshot came from. However, thanks to the new “ShotSpotter” technology, multiple electronic sensors can pinpoint the location of a gunshot. For areas that experience a lot of random gunfire, this tool can be very helpful in locating a singular source.
iPads: Tablet technology is replacing paper and pencil when it comes to recording statements from witnesses, taking notes and diagramming crime scenes. The time saving measures of the iPads, tablets and the various apps designed for criminal justice means that polices officers are out more on the street rather than at their desks filing reports.
Robotic Cameras: Robots are nothing new to law enforcement as many are used to deactivate bombs. However, a robotic camera can provide a great deal of information without putting at risk the life of a police officer.
These represent just a fraction of the new technologies available for law enforcement and the criminal justice system.