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Technology in Criminal Justice

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According to the criminal jurisdiction, it as a system of releasing on suspended sentence during good behavior shown by young persons, and especially first offenders, and placing them under the supervision of a probation officer, who acts as a friend and adviser.  There are six types of probation: standard, intensive, shock probation, electronic monitoring, community-based and house arrest. According to the report released by the Bureau of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; 896,000 aggravated assaults, 40,600 robberies, 8,400 rapes and just over 15000 rapes took place only in the year 2000. The number of violent offenders in Federal prison rose by 39.7% from 1990 to 1999. Thus the United States is faced with an overwhelming prison population and an unprecedented number of people being released from prison, the need to hold back recidivism is stronger than the recent past. By the end of the year 2000, Federal prisons were operating at 31% above the standard carrying capacity and State prisons were operating at a range of 100% to 115% of capacity. Many of this people are released and rearrested after a short period. No fine statistical manipulation can change the fact that Americans today live in a society where prisons and jails are at the exploding point, crime is pervasive, and criminals are released into society to commit offenses over and over again .A Global Positioning System (GPS) based technological solution that will better equip corrections officers to check offenders in the community and also provide a highly visible deterrent. The modern management software or technology will help in locating and managing data in the criminal justice system with the aim of monitoring probationers and parolees (Innovative Tracking Systems, 2002).

The Role of Technology

The Innovative Tracking Systems team has come up with a novel two-part location for tracking and monitoring system as the founding technology of their start-up business, TRX Systems. The use of the TRX&rsquos Sentinel Location and Location Management Systems provide parole and probation officers with extremely accurate data to assess the agreement of an individual with the terms of his or her release. These systems are based on three major technologies:

  • GPS Location Systems: these are Satellite Global Positioning Systems (GPS) that provide-time location stamps.
  • Wearable Computing Technology: these are small, high performance, power-efficient consumption processors receive and process location and sensor data, and format alarm and alert messages based on pre-programmed conditions.
  • Wireless Communications: the devices use short and long-range wireless technologies that transmit location and location-dependent sensor data (Sheiton, 2009).

Tracking And Recording Unit

The Sentinel Location System (SLS) is the unit used for tracking and recording. The SLS fits a wearable electronic location-recording device to probationers and parolees. The collected data is recorded to a compact flash memory card so that at any time, the information can be downloaded to a supervising officer’s computer and evaluated. The Sentinel is designed in such a way to avoid interfering or corrupting it in addition to substantial daily wear-and-tear. If the wearer of the system attempts to remove the Sentinel Location System, an alarm is transmitted. Several optional features improve the system by shaping it to the needs of each jurisdiction as follows:

  • The device may be configured to permit remote data download for routine or spot checks.
  •  The device may be preprogrammed with restricted geographic regions for each offender so that: an audible alarm sounds when the probationer enters a restricted region and/or a wireless alarm transmits the probationer’s location and name to the local call center when the offender goes into a restricted region.
  • Also the device may be integrated to record and transmit additional location-dependent sensor data i.e. audio may be recorded when a probationer enters a prohibited area a known drug market (Jeremy, 2007; Innovative Tracking Systems, 2002).

Interactive Mapping Software Suite

The location manager system (LMS) is a user friendly unit used for facilitating interactions with the offender (the wearer). Some of the currently low-technology methods of tracking and recording the activities of persons on probation and parole are time-consuming and work-intensive. The location manager system largely makes the probation check-in process easier through the provision of a user-friendly electronic option to the paperwork most jurisdictions use. It has a PC software suite that does the following: retrieves data from the SLS, records resulting time or location information in a centralized database, produces activity reports and infraction logs and finally it overlays location history onto the pertinent local maps for speedy and effective officer assessment (Innovative Tracking Systems, 2002).

United States is faced with an overwhelming prison population, crime is pervasive, and criminals are released into society to commit offenses over and over again, hence the need to hold back recidivism is stronger than the recent past. Many of this people are released and rearrested after a short period. Also the offenders outdo the probation officers who are supposed to monitor them when they are on probation, thus the modern management software is useful in tracking, recording and transmitting accurate data of the persons under probations.  Investigations are much more effective when performed in combination with the available techniques and new technologies.  Another advantage is in the office; computers, data entry software and scheduling programs have made office work simpler and more effective. An organized office makes evidence easier to classify and catalog. It also streamlines the process of interacting with the public and directing them to the appropriate place or person.

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