Effects of New Technologies on Criminal Justice System

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 3
Words: 738
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College


The advancement in modern technologies has indeed brought about a revolution in the criminal justice system. The introduction of these new technologies will help in the enhancement of the justice system to come up with an advanced international way of verifying an individual’s true identity to aid in global security and the justice system.

Effects of communication capabilities in the criminal justice system:

The use of specialized communication databases in the criminal justice system both at the national and international rank is characterized by the use of various complex computer systems (Becker & Dale, 2003). The use of these systems has greatly and substantially benefited the law enforcement society.

Technology is vital in law enforcement and in ensuring criminal justice.

The faster the growth of technology the safer the communities we live in since it creates a more effective way for officers and investigators to fight crime.

In the world, today application of biometric technologies and advancement in its development calls for support from governments to help combat illegal emigrants, crimes, hoaxes, and other fraudulent acts.

The public officials who are in charge of border patrol, law enforcement, and a criminal justice have at their disposal a vast range of technologies including:

  • AVIS
  • Livescan
  • Iris scan
  • Facial recognition
  • Mobile data terminals

A comparison of Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and Facial Recognition

An automated fingerprint identification system is the art of matching one or more unknown fingerprints using an electronic database of previously stored prints whereas Facial recognition is the art of using either an automated or semi-automated procedure of matching face images.

AFIS is done by capturing the image of a person’s fingerprints, either one, two, or the ten fingers depending on the relevance whereas in facial recognition they analyze a person’s facial image especially the sections that cannot be altered e.g. cheekbones, eye sockets and the sides of the mouth (Pattavina, 2004).

In many circumstances fingerprints are captured on papers physically through the used ink or through scanning the fingerprints directly using an AFIS machine that samples the fingerprint area at either 500 or 1000ppi. On the other hand, facial recognition captures facial images by the use of cameras or scanners.

In AFIS fingerprints that are left at crime scenes can either be directly imaged at the scene or lifted by use of adhesive tapes and imaged afterward whereas in facial recognition there is minimal awareness of the subject since the cameras are placed in high-risk public areas like bus stations, airports, and borders (Pattavina, 2004).

In AFIS once the fingerprints are captured they are converted to biometric templates then processes of extracting the distinctive features are done and a comparison is done to check similarities whereas in facial recognition an automated system is used to incorporate a camera or a scanner for the captured photos and mug shots and then matched in a biometric database.

Positive effects of new technologies

These technologies are the most powerful tools used by police and prosecutors in crime scenes. They are accurate and through them, there has been a reduction in prison populations (Peterson and Hickman, 2005).

Due to the reduction of prisoners, the governments have benefited cost-effectively because of the reduced administration costs (Becker et.al, 2005).

These advanced technologies have combated cold crimes like rapists and serial killers and other street crimes since they have been readily identified, unlike before the emergence of these technologies.

Negative effects of new technologies

Concerns have been raised that the justice personnel might be replaced by the invention of new hardware and software (Becker & Dale, 2003).

There have been ethical concerns, where people argue that their liberty is contravened by monitoring technologies.

It has also been argued that is not evident that these technologies have improved the criminal justice system’s way of handling crimes.

It is not also clear that there could be some link between these technologies and the different criminal behaviors today.

With the increase of monitoring technologies, the breach rates are well documented hence growth in the prison population and these increases cost inefficiency.

Why AFIS is the most proffered technology

Automated fingerprint identification is the most effective and has been proven to be the best and the highest-ranked in security compared to other biometrics (Becker & Dale, 2003). Every individual has their unique fingerprint hence it’s a precise method of identifying an individual and can not be altered (Becker et.al, 2005).


Becker, W. S., & Dale, M.W. (2003). Strategic Human Resource Management in the Forensic Science Laboratory, 5 Forensic Sci. Comm. Web.

Becker, W. S., Dale, W. M., Lambert, A. & Magnus, D. (2005). Forensic Lab Directors’ Perceptions of Staffing Issues, 50 J. Forensic Sci. Web.

Pattavina,A. (2004). Information Technology and the Criminal Justice System (SAGE Publications). Web.

Peterson,J.L. & Hickman,J.M. (2005). Census of Publicly funded forensic crime laboratories in the bureau of justice statistics Bulletin. Web.