Sample Criminal Justice Paper on Fingerprint and Biometrics

Fingerprint and Biometrics

Fundamental Principles of Fingerprints

The use of fingerprints in solving cases around the world has improved the effectiveness and accuracy of law enforcement. The technique has been applied for more than 100 years and is still a useful tool in solving criminal cases. However, it should be noted that between when the technique was introduced and the present day, it has undergone significant developments, which have made it more effective. Essentially, it aids in the identification of people who are involved in a crime. The techniques are also useful in assessing criminal records, previous convictions, and arrests as well as sentencing, pardoning and parole decisions. The extensive use of fingerprints is based on its three fundamental principles including consistency, variation, and infallibility.

The concept of consistency states that human beings fingerprints do not change during their lifetimes. While they may enlarge due to physical growth, but the patterns remain the same. Indeed, the mentioned characteristic makes fingerprints essential in biometric applications, identity management, and authentication (Abarca, 2018). Since they are the first point of contact by humans, the use of fingerprints in a criminal investigation may help law enforcement officials to track or link a particular individual to a crime.  The principle of variation, on the other hand, states that the neighboring fingers of a person are not identical. The feature is used to ascertain the uniqueness of people, including identical twins (Thakkar, 2018). Scientists believe that fingerprints are formed during the growth of the embryo and are fully formed by six months of growth. Lastly, the principle of infallibility states that it is easy to differentiate between forged and genuine fingerprints. The latter have flat like ridges plus well defined and visible sweat pores (Abarca, 2018). However, the former have sharp ridges as well as dotted sweat pores that are not visible. Fingerprints can be classified into different groups, including loops, arches, and whorl, which makes it easy to classify them during an investigation.

Next Generation Identification System (NGI)

The Next Generation Identification (NGI) is a modern technology introduced the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The technology aids in enhancing the application of late print and ten-print fingerprint searches and replacing the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) (FBI, 2016). Moreover, it provides an effective electronic source of both criminal and biometric information globally.

Notably, the use of biometric has over the years enabled law enforcement agencies to enhance the quality of investigative and identification capabilities. Some of the notable abilities of the technology include Advanced Fingerprint Identification Technology (AFIT), the Repository for Individuals of Special Concern (RISC), Latent and Palm Prints, Rap Back, Interstate Photosystem significance, Facial Recognition Search, and Iris Pilot. All these aspects have different in conducting a biometric assessment. For instance, the rap back system allows authorized agencies to receive notifications from individuals who hold positions of trust, including daycare workers and teachers who may be undergoing criminal investigation (Leidos, 2018). Thus biometrics can eliminate the need for another background check on the same person. This has helped in saving both time and resources of the agencies and ensuring the country reduces the rate of crime (FBI, 2016). The AFIT, on the other hand, enhanced latent and fingerprint searches thus increased the level of accuracy and processing capacities and improved the availability of the system.





Abarca, N. C. (2018). The three dogmatic principles of fingerprints. Retrieved from

FBI. (2016). Next Generation Identification (NGI). Retrieved from

Leidos. (2018). Next Generation Identification. Retrieved from

Thakkar, D. (2018). Three fundamental principles of fingerprints. Retrieved from