Technology Changes to Criminal Justice System

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Wesleyan University
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Over the last decades, almost every industry has been transformed by technology advancement. Law enforcement is one of the sectors which has been spearhead by technology in the criminal investigation (Foster, 2005). This paper seeks to discuss the impact of technology on the criminal justice system.

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Police officer

Mobile technology allows the police officers, detectives, and Sheriff Officers to be connected with the people they are protecting (Archbold, 2013).The main types of technologies include;

Mobile investigation management which is a mobile program that allows the person involved in a case to use a simple port to manage the situation flow in real time. This technology combined with innovative software, changing the outcome of pivotal case enabling them to respond faster

Mobile Fingerprinting is a technology allow the police officers to get the accurate fingerprint reading in a minute. The officers can get the ID of the individual without bringing the victim to the station.

Social media allows the police to engage with the community and gain knowledge and ways of investigating and ending crime making work easier to the police.

Body cameras and in-car videos increase the officers' accountability, safety and minimize violent apprehensions.

Prison guard

Modern prison is built with Panopticon design that allows correctional officers to observe inmates without their knowledge that they are being watched. Video surveillance makes the prisons safe with few correctional personnel. Radio-frequency Identification tracking (RFID) is another technology that helps in monitoring process whereby inmates puts on an electronic bracelet which monitors his/her movement through the facility (Gingrich & Worthington, 2013). This technology helps the guard contain the inmates within the designated area preventing visitors from smuggling.

Probation officer

According to Siegel, (2017), the leading technologies used by the probation officers are Global positioning, the system (GPS) and radio frequency (RF). With GPS the participant wears an ankle bracelet which allows the officers to track the location of the person. RF technology gives notification to monitoring center when the participant goes beyond the range. The two technologies enable the probation officer to maintain contact with probationers by setting a limit of a person's connection with a specific address, and the bracelet sends the alarm if the person comes within the range of that address.

Court case

The role of the law enforcement officer is still the same, but there are changes due to the advent of new technology in the manner in which the officer collects the information. In the case between the United States and White, the police officer used a small hidden microphone, placed on an informant, and recorded the info between White and the data, while having a policeman in the house of the informant, to authenticate the recorded information.

Though White protested his conviction by the trial court, on the grounds of violation of the right to privacy, the Supreme Court reversed the Appellate court's verdict that electronically-recorded statement was prohibited and upheld the conviction. This move by the Supreme Court meant that the law enforcement officers were free to collect evidence electronically. The court's explanation compounded this that if a person admits to people that he/she is committing crimes, then he/she should never expect any privacy. The dissenting argument imposed that third-party recording of conversations would infringe on the right of free speech.

Career path

The probation officer is the career path I found to be using exciting technologies that I would like to utilize. By the use of GPS and RF, probation officers act as the eye and ear of the court system, and they hang out in cyberspace, twitter accounts, and facebook profile as they comply with the court order as well as staying out of troubles.


Archbold, C. (2013). Policing: A text/reader. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.

Foster, R. E. (2005). Police technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Gingrich, N., & Worthington, R. (2013). Breakout: Pioneers of the future, prison guards of the past, and the epic battle that will decide America's fate.

Siegel, L. J. (2017). Corrections today. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning.

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