New Technologies in Criminal Investigation Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1477 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
With GPS, there is much higher chance that criminal investigators would have know exactly where these criminals were -- or at least if and when they left their zones of permission -- and this would in turn help them stop the repeat offenders from committing further crimes, therefore reducing recidivism rates.

Florida-based Pro-Tech Monitoring ( http://www.ptm.com ) has developed one of the strongest GPS-based tracking systems. This system is called the SMART System and it combines Trimble's miniature Lassen-SK8 GPS board and cellular technology into a unit actually worn on the person by the criminal offender. Already, we can see the effectiveness of the methods: Rather than place the GPS device on the criminal's car, or other transportation method, the GPS is actually placed on the person of the offender. Of course, this begs the question: How do criminal investigators ensure that the criminal offenders -- parolees -- actually keep the devices on their persons? Are they actually implanted; and if so, is that not another constitutional privacy or cruel and unusual punishment challenge? Currently, the preferred method of attachment is an ankle bracelet which, of course, the criminal can remove if he or she decides to break his or her parole.

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Regardless, in addition to the 3.5-ounce, tamper-proof ankle bracelet, the system includes a portable tracking device (PTD) that is electronically leashed to the original ankle unit. The PTD contains the GPS receiver and cellular communications as well, and all of these act in concert to track the offender and deliver constant streams of information back to the criminal investigators.

Term Paper on New Technologies in Criminal Investigation: Assignment

Unlike conventional house arrest systems that only monitor when offenders leave or return their homes, Pro-Tech Monitoring's SMART system keeps track of offenders anywhere, at all times. That is why police departments nationwide are researching purchases of this particular system. The unit is indeed "smart": it contains "rules of release" which stipulate where the offender should be at all times. If an offender breaks these rules of release, the system automatically warns the offender and then sends a message to a center that reports directly to the criminal investigators if the problem is not immediately corrected. We may think of it as a home security alarm system for the mobile criminal offender.

"The device is like a warden looking down on you to be sure that you comply," commented U.S. drug czar Bob Martinez in a recent Government Technology -- one of the most respected industry journals -- article.

At the same time that the PTD is monitoring the criminal offender's movements, it sends GPS location information to a central office -- the same central office that reports, eventually, to the criminal investigators. The location of the individual is displayed on a background map running on a personal computer, which is also programmed with those same rules of release. Using the PC-based map graphical display, criminal investigators can centrally monitor parolee movements to within several feet of a location. Data files of offenders' movements stored on a Web site can be used to monitor an offender's overall general rehabilitation program and provide additional information for criminal investigations. In fact, reports mention that the GPS devices in the future might even be used to monitor the offenders' health factors, such as heart rate and blood pressure and several other factors.

The system has been implemented by Florida's Department of Corrections and is being tested in Lackawanna Country, Pa as well. Pro-Tech Monitoring also plans to expand the service into international markets, and to provide victim security and health-related monitoring for Alzheimers patients or autistic children. Of course, we have already discussed the usage of GPS for elder patients too.

But, the primary use of GPS systems, assuming they can pass constitutional muster -- discussed above -- will be in criminal investigations, primarily for the tracking of parolees, and other repeat offenders.

It is a classic battle of the productive vs. The advisable: It is productive to track repeat offenders with GPS, but criminal investigators may suffer the consequences of failing to prove that it is constitutionally advisable.

Bibliography:

1) Tracking paroles: http://commons.somewhere.com/rre/1995/tracking.parolees.html

2) Recidivism, Savannah Morning News: http://www.savannahmorningnews.com/smn/stories/102898/LOCthroatslashed.html

3) Keeping an Eye on Crime: GPS Monitors Parolees, Trimble Navigation Limited. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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