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New Technology of Crime, Law and Social Control

NCJ Number
James M. Byrne, Donald J. Rebovich
Date Published
387 pages
This book provides an overview of the applications and effects of new technology in criminal methods, crime prevention, and the management and operation of the criminal justice system (police, courts, and corrections).
The new technology is broadly divided into "hard" technology and "soft" technology. "Hard" technology refers to "new materials, devices, and equipment that can be used to either commit crime or prevent and control crime." "Soft" technology innovations include new "software programs, classification systems, crime analysis techniques, and data sharing/system integration techniques that provide opportunities for both crime commission and crime control." These two types of technology are examined in terms of their uses and effects on both crime-prevention and crime-control policies toward offenders and victims. The impact of these technologies on the methods and opportunities for crime are also considered. There is a focus on computer-assisted crime facilitated and committed through the Internet. The crimes discussed include child pornography, other sex offenses, fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, money laundering, white-collar crime, and stalking. Regarding crime prevention, one chapter reports on two reviews of evaluation research that has examined the effectiveness of street lighting and surveillance by closed-circuit television cameras in reducing crime in general and specific types of crime. Other chapters address the uses of "hard" and "soft" technologies by police (nonlethal weaponry, information processing, crime analysis, and crime mapping); courts (case-flow management, court security, and the work of specialized courts); and corrections (offender/inmate classification, security, information processing, case management, and management decisionmaking). The book concludes with a chapter that analyzes the social-control and privacy implications of the new technology applications. Chapter notes and references and a list of Web sites for further research on new technologies