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.

Geographic Information Systems and Crime Mapping in Criminal Justice Agencies

Geographic information systems and crime mapping in criminal justice agencies

Crime mapping is not a new analytic tool. For centuries, researchers have observed the link between environmental conditions and social problems. Weisburd and McEwen (1998) describe an early use of mapping during the 1800s to detect the source of a cholera outbreak in London that had killed hundreds of people. Working on the assumption that contaminated water causes cholera, an astute doctor mapped the incidents of cholera in the city and noticed that they were clustered near a particular water pump. The handle of the pump was removed and the outbreak was contained.

The mapping process in this case was simple: Locate and mark the instances of ...

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