High-Priority Technology Needs: Improving the Efficiency of Justice

Through collaboration and consultation with practitioners, NIJ has identified high-priority technology needs for the criminal justice field, including the following aimed at improving the efficiency of justice:

  • “Intelligent” decision support systems, including:
    • Optimizing sentencing (e.g., institutionalization, probation, parole, therapy, electronic monitoring or treatment), taking into account cost, safety and recidivism issues.
    • Optimizing the way in which law enforcement agencies organize and deploy their resources, to include: patrol district, precinct and beat designs; fleet maintenance; and management and manpower scheduling.
    • Optimizing the way in which law enforcement and corrections agencies employ new technologies, such as automated vehicle locators, smart sensors, wireless mobile networks and knowledge management in patrol and response operations.
  • Improved information and data systems that link an individual’s records and citations across various criminal justice databases from the time of entry into the criminal justice system.
  • Secure Web applications (services) that facilitate effective cross-jurisdiction information and data sharing and exchange. Solutions must consider the Justice Reference Architecture. 
  • Immersive technologies to effectively train criminal justice practitioners, optimally at their stations, focusing on:
    • Low probability, but high consequence events (critical incidents) such as an active shooter in a school.
  • Devices providing multilingual speech translation capabilities for criminal justice applications, including:
    • Voice.
    • Speech-to-text/text-to-speech.
  • Reliable and widely applicable tools and technologies that allow faster, cheaper and less labor-intensive identification, collection, preservation and analysis of forensic evidence of all kinds and the reduction of existing case backlogs, including cold and missing person cases. These include: 
    • Improved laboratory information management systems.
    • Improved automated forensic analysis.
    • Improved quality assurance processes.
    • Improved screening methods for use at crime scenes and in the laboratory to rapidly and accurately determine the evidentiary value of biological materials.
    • Improved methods to rapidly identify and collect biological evidentiary samples at a crime scene.
    • Improved tools for preserving biological evidence.
    • Improved methods for DNA extraction, analysis and interpretation (including the use of expert systems for data analysis).
    • Improved solutions to address the need for increased data storage capacity to archive large-volume data sets generated in computer forensic examinations.
    • Improved solutions for extracting specific data subsets that correspond to specific files from larger data sets during analysis of unallocated space on a digital media device.
    • Improved solutions to automatically determine that related entries in multiple databases that may contain differing kinds of data and have varying or inexact details are attributable to the same person, including missing persons.
Date Modified: September 3, 2010