Technology is crucial in the criminal justice systems for making it easier and accurate to collect records and store data of lawbreakers. The advanced technology helps law enforcers to collect all data that may help in future and current investigations for long periods. For instance, DNA and fingerprints are basic pieces of information that the police use to link criminals to the crime scenes (FBI, 2008). Gadgets such as computers help the police department to quickly cross reference such information to crimes. Information such as DNA has been crucial in finding the real offenders and has been the leading cause for the release of people wrongly incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. These technological advancements allow the police to locate lawbreakers and follow the developments and new leads to crimes in their database.
Technology has advanced to focus on more specific details such as the voice, eyes, palm, and footprints, and facial details. These technologies provide more accurate results to detect and arrest law offenders. However, most of these technologies are costly and in some cases, they have compatibility issues. Purchasing the equipment can be very costly as well as updating the existing ones. This also requires recruiting personnel who can use the technology, which is also very expensive.
A Comparison of at Least Two Types of Specialized Databases: IAFIS vs. Iris Scan
Fingerprint collecting technology is one of the common technology of collecting individual data by the police department. This method allows for an easier way of gathering and storing the data of criminals. Iris scan is a technology that allows the police to scan the iris of individuals and keep the information in their database (Magnuson, 2009). These two technologies are significant because every individual has very different details in the fingerprint and iris from each other.
No two persons have the same fingerprints and iris characteristics anywhere in the world and this makes these technologies an asset to the law enforcers. However, unlike fingerprint collecting technology, the iris scan is highly accurate and the criminals cannot alter the outcome (FBI, 2008). For instance, criminals can scrap off their fingerprints or burn their hands in attempts of evading being recognized by the law enforcers. In addition, arriving at a match of fingerprints to the right criminal might take days to months, which is a challenge in cases of preventing another crime from happening to the specific criminal. Moreover, if the information from fingerprints is not correctly recorded, for human error reasons, a lot of time can be wasted and the criminals may go unpunished. Iris scan is mobile and can be carried out anywhere by the police and it is inexpensive. In addition, it is very small and highly accurate (Magnuson, 2009).
Iris scan can be performed anywhere even during traffic stops to collect data of individuals who are prime suspects and those convicted for certain offenses (Magnuson, 2009). Having over two hundred and seventy identifiable unique features makes iris scan more accurate than fingerprints which have about seventy identifiable exceptional characteristics. Moreover, the iris scan takes a very short time from start to finish and within few seconds, the scan displays the results.
Positive Effects of New Technologies on Communication
New technology has been an asset to communication, especially in the criminal justice department to collect records, and store data of suspects and convicted individuals. Accurate data prevent the innocent from being subjected to mistaken convictions. In addition, it prevents criminals from escaping being convicted, and thus, justice is arrived at by convicting the right persons. The portability and ease of using iris scans make it an asset to the law enforcers (Magnuson, 2009). Law enforcers use this technology to identify and access millions of criminal and civil subjects. This makes peacekeeping and investigations effective leading to controlled security. These technologies such as computer latent searches, finger and palm print, and electronic image storage among others, keep the data available to law enforcers every day and night of the year. This enables law enforcers to detect, prevent, and apprehending offenders on a wide scale with the aid of new technology.
New technology is used to benefit society as a whole by maintaining peace and presenting information to the public. The collected data is analyzed and stored for future reference in detecting and avoiding crime. New technology is effective especially because of its feature of a backup system. This makes the law enforcement still have their information even after disasters such as fire and theft. New technology is also important because the stored information can be updated easily unlike in the past when paperwork and other manual systems were used. These technologies make it fast to carry out communication within and across departments in a faster and neat way by use of digitized systems, which also ensures that the data is not lost and not easily altered.
Negative Effects of New Technologies on Communication
When new technology is used to collect, record, and store data, human error may occur, and wrong information used for communication in the criminal justice sector. This wrong information may implicate an innocent person and allow wrongdoers to escape arrest. Due to financial strain in law enforcement agencies, they may not be able to purchase new technology and they end up using technologies that are one and two decades old. These outdated technologies are slow, tiresome, and sometimes inaccurate. Some equipment in the police department is not compatible with new technology and this hinders the use of new technology. This makes communication within and outside the department ineffective.
Some criminals use new technologies to breach security and find a way inside the law enforcement communication system and devise tactics of evading detection and apprehension. Some people in criminal departments may not be able to use new technology because of its complexity, which makes it expensive to train or hire new people to aid in communication. With the increase in cybercrimes, some law offenders are able to hack criminal justice computerized information and interfere with communication and the stored data. Loss of data can cause serious setbacks especially if the department does not have backup information.
A Discussion about Which New Specialized Technologies I Might Want To Use and Why
Iris scan is very accurate and portable, which makes it easy to use anywhere at any time. This technology is inexpensive and provides results of the scan within a few seconds (Magnuson, 2009). These traits of accuracy and portability make it even better than taking fingerprints. The unique traits from the iris scan are up to two hundred and seventy which makes it very unlikely to resemble another person’s (Magnuson, 2009). Collection and recording of the data leave no room for human error and as a result, effective communication is arrived at in the criminal justice department. Information collected from an iris scan cannot be easily altered to suit a person’s interests of implicating another and letting a criminal off the hook of law enforcement (Magnuson, 2009). This makes the information accurate and it needs no update because the iris details do not change over any given time.
FBI. (2008). Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/iafis.htm
Magnuson, S. (2009). National Defense: Iris Scan Technology Yet to Take Off. Retrieved from http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2009/January/Pages/IrisScanTechnologyYettoTakeOff.aspx