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The NCJRS Abstracts Database contains abstracts of more than 200,000 criminal justice, juvenile justice, and substance abuse resources housed within the NCJRS Library. Search the NCJRS Abstracts Database for resources on this topic.
Technology & Forensics Programs at a Glance
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Technology & Forensics Practice Outcomes at a GlanceNew
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Technology & Forensics

The justice community uses many forms of technology and forensic science techniques to assist in crime prevention, intervention, and response. Examples include body armor, information technology such as data analysis and mapping tools, radios, records management systems (RMS), closed circuit television (CCTV), license plate recognition (LPR) systems, and DNA evidence examination.

Fast Facts

  • Nearly all local police departments authorized officers to use one or more types of less-than-lethal weapons during 2007. The most common was pepper spray and an increasing number authorized the use of conducted energy devices (CED), such as Tasers; 60% of local police departments authorized CEDs in 2007, an increase from 7% in 2000.[1]

  • In 2003, 59% of police officers employed by a local department were required to wear protective body armor at all times while in the field, by 2007, that percentage increased to 67%.[2]

  • Sixty percent of local police departments used electronic information systems to transmit incident reports from the field in 2007, up from 38% in 2003.[3]

  • In 1997, only 13% of police departments used computerized crime mapping.[4] In 2007, about 75% of local law enforcement officers worked for a department that used computerized crime mapping and most local police departments serving 25,000 or more residents used computers for crime mapping.[5]

  • Thirteen percent of local police departments and a majority of departments serving populations of 500,000 or more used fixed-site camera (CCTV) surveillance in 2007. Sixty one percent of departments used in-car cameras.[6]

  • An estimated 92% of the reported 97.9 million individual offender records in criminal history information systems were automated in the United States in 2010.[7]

  • In 2009, the more than 400 publicly funded forensic crime laboratories operating that year received over 4 million requests for a wide range of forensic services, such as DNA tests, controlled substance analyses, and latent fingerprint examinations. An estimated 1.2 million cases were backlogged at the end of 2009 (not completed within 30 days), which was relatively unchanged from the backlog at yearend 2008.[8]


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OJP Publications

Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections, Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for the U.S. Corrections Sector, NIJ-Sponsored, 2015
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Building a Comprehensive White-Collar Violations Data System, Final Technical Report, BJS-Sponsored, 2015

Bloodstain Patterns on Textile Surfaces: A Fundamental Analysis, NIJ-Sponsored, 2015

Visions of Law Enforcement Technology in the Period 2024-2034: Report of the Law Enforcement Futuring Workshop, NIJ-Sponsored, 2015
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Digital Evidence and the U.S. Criminal Justice System Identifying Technology and Other Needs to More Effectively Acquire and Utilize Digital Evidence, NIJ-Sponsored, 2015

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Questions and Answers

Where can I find information on regulations and requirements relating to the confidentiality and protection of human test subjects?
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How do I subscribe to the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center's (NLECTC) "TechBeat" news magazine?
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