National Institute of Justice National Institute of Justice. Research. Development. Evaluation. Office of Justice Programs
skip navigationHome  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map   |  Glossary
Reliable Research. Real Results. skip navigation
TopicsAll Programs & PracticesAbout CrimeSolutions.govResourcesFAQsNominate
skip navigation
NCJRS Library
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
Total Number of Programs: 39

See All Programs

Technology & Forensics Practice Outcomes at a GlanceNew
Total Number of Practices: 2

See All Practices

skip navigation

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]


Practices New

OJP Publications

Notifying Sexual Assault Victims After Testing Evidence, NIJ,OVC, January 2016

Using Research To Move Policing Forward, NIJ, January 2016

NIJ Funding: Supporting Emerging Scientists, Building Our Future, NIJ, January 2016

Forming an Action-Research Team to Address Sexual Assault Cases, NIJ, January 2016

Moving Forward - How Research and Technology Are Expanding Sexual Assault Kit Testing, NIJ, January 2016

More OJP Publications

Questions and Answers

Where can I access the two part training entitled What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know about DNA Evidence?
See Answer

Where can I find information on regulations and requirements relating to the confidentiality and protection of human test subjects?
See Answer

What is Field Search?
See Answer

More Q&A

Related Resources