Information Technology and the Criminal Justice System suggests that information technology in criminal justice will continue to challenge us to think about how we turn information into knowledge, who can use that knowledge, and for what purposes. In this text, editor April Pattavina synthesizes the growing body of research in information technology and criminal justice. Contributors examine what has been learned from past experiences, what the current state of IT is in various components of the criminal justice system, and what challenges lie ahead.

Information Technology and the Criminal Justice System: An Historical Overview

Information technology and the criminal justice system: An historical overview

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an historical perspective for the most prominent changes in information technology (IT) use that have taken place in the criminal justice field over the past several decades. Given that the field consists of more than 18,000 police departments and several thousand prosecutorial, court, and corrections agencies, it is clear that the objective can be met only in the most general terms. The agencies that comprise the criminal justice “system” are at highly varying stages of IT sophistication and use. They also have different motivations for initiating IT change. To illustrate, we may consider that an agency's objectives when ...

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