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Emerging Technology in Criminal Justice

Officer Protection & Crime Prevention

The primary concern of the law enforcement and corrections communities is the protection of both their officers and the public. A number of products that can physically protect officers are available or are being researched (see chapter 1). Restraining suspects and prisoners (chapter 2) also prevents dangerous situations from developing. When needed, firearms (chapter 3) are essential to officer safety—work has been and is being done to make officers’ weapons as safe and reliable as possible. In most confrontations with unruly or uncooperative suspects, a law enforcement or corrections officer needs alternatives to deadly force to subdue or capture the individuals or to otherwise control the situation and thus reduce the risk of harm to suspects and innocent bystanders (chapter 4). The same concerns that led to the development of less-than-lethal weapons have produced alternative means of managing high-speed car/vehicle pursuits (chapter 5). A variety of surveillance technologies (chapter 6) can be useful in the prevention and/or early detection of unlawful behavior. Location technologies allow the criminal justice system to monitor and, if needed, manage the behavior of offenders, and similar devices can be used to track officers and ensure their safety in potentially dangerous situations (chapter 7). The systems used to detect concealed weapons and contraband provide an extra margin of safety, and new types of detection devices are being developed (see chapter 8).

[from:  Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. (2001). A resource guide to law enforcement, corrections, and forensic technologies (pp. 1-95) (United States, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services). Washington, DC: COPS: Community Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved December 8, 2015, from

Required Reading

Body Armor Protects Against Injury and Death

United States National Institute of justice, Office of Justice Programs. (2013, July 12). Body armor.
Retrieved from  

Office of Justice Programs. (Aug. 24, 2005). Special report: Third status report to the attorney general on body armor safety initiative testing and activities (pp. 1-41) (United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. Retrieved December 8, 2015, from

National Institute of Justice, Office of Science and Technology

Recommended Reading

Additional Resources