The World Wide Web and Criminal Justice: What Has Been Done and What Has Been Missed?

Harald Otto Schweizer, California State University - Fresno

The operation of criminal justice organizations is taking on a new meaning in the age of the World Wide Web. Criminal justice organizations world-wide, particularly law enforcement agencies, are benefiting from the increasing use of the Internet as a way to conduct business in both the public and private sector. A number of agencies around the world are enabling the public to register their complaints regarding criminal victimizations via the Internet, and some allow the use of this medium to also submit complaints against their officers or employees. Citizen satisfaction with police is registered through web based surveys, and some agencies, for example Berkeley, California, permits Internet surfers to see who is assigned to patrol a particular Berkeley neighborhood at any given time of day. The Chicago Police Department Web Site allows users to check crime statistics for various parts of the city, and the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau only accepts police employment applications over the Internet. The Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff's Office has web cams inside the county jail with live pictures broadcast over the Internet.

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Updated 05/20/2006