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Making Decisions About Criminal Justice Technology: Needs and Challenges

NCJ Number
Date Published
18 pages

This is a summary overview of a study sponsored by the Justice Technology Information Center (JTIC) that examined how criminal justice practitioners collect and use information on technology-related procurement, implementation, and decision-making processes.


The first phase of the study identified the technology decision-makers, the processes they use to identify needed technologies, and how they make crucial technology-related decisions. In addition, the criminal justice practitioners surveyed identified the primary sources of information they use for technology selection, as well as the information needs and challenges they face. In the second phase of this study, in-depth follow-up interviews were conducted with criminal justice practitioners. Although the practitioners surveyed and interviewed identified technology-related practices and challenges distinctive to their agencies, there was general agreement regarding the need for a central repository or clearinghouse that could assist criminal justice agencies in providing relevant, unbiased information on technologies available to meet specific needs and improve particular services of criminal justice agencies. In addition to a clearinghouse, the study identified other means for improving information and assistance on the matching of technology with agency needs and services. These include collaboration/communication among agencies and jurisdictions, vendor information, and awareness and education campaigns. Specific recommendations in the report are to explore prototype development of an information clearinghouse; to create a scope of work and initial data architecture diagram for the information technology (IT) infrastructure needed to build a clearinghouse; to develop a pricing estimate and revenue model for financing a clearinghouse; and to create a clearinghouse task force. Detailed findings of the study are appended.

Date Published: January 1, 2018