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The Best Laid Plans: An Assessment of the Intended and Unintended Consequences of Technological Innovation in the Criminal Justice System. James M. Byrne, Professor Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Hard Technology CCTV Street Lighting
James M. Byrne, Professor
Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Citizen Protection Devices (e.g. mace, tasers)
Ignition Interlock Systems (drunk drivers)
Threat Assessment Instruments
Bullying ID Protocol
Sex Offender Registration
Risk Assessment prior to involuntary civil commitment
Profiling Software to identify suspicious personsThe New Technology of Crime Prevention
Improved police protection (vests, cars)
Less than lethal force
Computers in squad cars
Hands free patrol car control (Project 54)
Offender and citizen ID’s via biometrics/fingerprints
Gunshot location devices
Crime mapping (hot spots)
Crime analysis (e.g. COMPSTAT)
Criminal history data systems enhancement
Info sharing within CJS and private sector
CCTV police applicationsThe New Technology of Policing
The high tech courtroom (computers, video, cameras, design features of buildings)
Weapon detection devices
Electronic court documents
Drug testing at pretrial stage
Case flow management systems
Radio frequency identification technology
Automation of court records
Problem-oriented courts with unique information system requirements( drug, reentry, gun, domestic violence, and community courts)The New Technology of Law and Courts
Contraband detection devices
Duress alarm systems
Language translation devices
Less than lethal force in prison
Prison design options/ expansion of super-max prisons
Expanded use of segregation units
Use of simulations as training tools (mock riots)
Facial Recognition software
New inmate classification systems (external/internal)
Within prison crime analysis ( predicting hot spots; high rate offenders; and prison violence)
Info sharing with police, community, victims, and community-based corrections (reentry)The New Technology of Institutional Corrections
GPS, language translators
Breathalyzers, instant drug tests
Laptops for line staff
GPS for staff location
New classification devices for sex, drugs, and MI offenders
New workload software/ and Treatment Technology
Info sharing with community, police, treatment providersThe New Technology of Community Corrections
Will new technology applications in criminal justice result in the replacement of ‘people’ with ‘things’?
Will technological advancements in the area of offender control minimize the possibilities for individual & community change?
3. What are the long term consequences of privatization of key technology related CJ system functions?
ISSUE: Is the Private Sector Replacing the Public Sector in the development and application of new technologies of crime prevention and control?
Less crime Less Freedom,
Less crime More Distrust
More efficiency More Disparity
More Control Less Change
More Control Less ChangeThe New Technology of Criminal Justice : Intended vs. Unintended Consequences
1. Risk Assessment often focuses on risky people violent offenders, sex offenders and mentally ill offenders)
2. Threat Assessment focuses on risky places (school violence & likely targets for domestic terrorism)
• Key Issue: Can we accurately make predictions about either risky people or risky places? What is the appropriate balance between considerations of ‘risk’ and ‘stakes’?
2. Non-Electric Immobilizing Devices
3. Technology to Reduce the Number of Vehicular Pursuits
4. Technology to Improve Officer Safety
5. Gunshot location technology
• Key Issues:
1. Little knowledge of ‘what works’ in hard technology for courts
2. Is slow pace of such innovations warranted, given the potential for disparity in access to new technologies in court?
• Key Issue: Inmate numbers increasing and budgets decreasing equates to hard choices: Do we emphasize the new technology to offender control or focus the new technology of offender treatment and change?
• Key Issue: How can the various forms of ‘soft’ technology be revised to emphasize the goal of offender change rather than short term offender control?
• Key Issues:
• Key Issue: Advances in ‘soft’ technology have resulted in more control over offenders but have these same advances undermined attempts to change individual behavior?