Policing Volume: 23 Issue: 3 Dated: 2000 Pages: 318-338
Lawrence F. Travis III
This paper presents the results of two research projects designed to evaluate the extent and nature of the use of the World Wide Web by criminal justice agencies in the United States.
In the first project, the URLs of all known criminal justice agency sites were collected. Sites with large collections of hyperlinks to criminal justice agencies provided these URLs. After known sites were collected, a form of snowball sampling was used to find unlisted criminal justice agency sites. Data collection was completed over a 10-week period between August and October 1997. The project identified 1,807 criminal justice agency sites. Local law enforcement sites were the most common site type. Criminal justice agency sites included 1,371 law enforcement, 295 court-related, and 85 corrections sites. Hyperlinks were important for finding additional criminal justice agency sites and for the classification of sites linked by criminal justice agencies. The most linked site, with 85 hyperlinks, was the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The second most linked site, with 75 hyperlinks, was the Police Officer's Internet Directory. In the second project, the focus was more on the content of criminal justice agency sites. This project collected data 18 months after the original data collection process for the 1,807 criminal justice agency sites was completed. Types of information found on criminal justice agency sites included employee and agency information, agency statistics and reports, and responses to specific problems. 31 references and 9 tables