THE MAGAZINE

Criminal Justice Technology in the 21st Century, Second Edition

By Bob Sena, CPP

*****Criminal Justice Technology in the 21st Century, Second Edition. Edited by Laura J. Moriarty; published by Charles C. Thomas, 800/258-8980 (phone), www.ccthomas.com (Web); 302 pages; $44.95.

Recognizing technology’s increasing role in criminal justice, as well as the pace at which it continues to emerge, editor Laura J. Moriarty wisely decided to issue a second edition of this book, first published in 1998. Much has changed in the intervening years, so Moriarty brings readers up to date on the evolving landscape of criminal justice technology. With new chapters written specifically for this edition, the book presents a good mix of general information about technology and examples of empirical research to show the impact that technology is having on all levels of criminal justice.

The book is a compilation of scholarly articles targeted to professors, students, and policymakers, relying heavily on research studies that employ both inferential and descriptive statistics. The material is presented in four sections, with contributions appearing from some of the leading criminal justice experts in the academic community.

The text provides practical knowledge and a thorough analysis of the applications, benefits, and drawbacks that technology has to offer. The approach is rather technical and no-nonsense; it gives readers a valuable overview of technology as well as a look into issues they are likely to encounter when they use these technologies.

Security professionals will gain insight from the research studies of computer forensics, computer crime, and computer machinations by international organized crime groups. Topics such as communications, staff development and education, computer-based training, and videoconferencing also pertain to a wide range of business security scenarios. Numerous case studies in these fields can be used as blueprints for projects applicable to security environments. Security professionals will also benefit from the book’s analysis of business concerns such as theft of intellectual property, identity theft, and network intrusion.

As stated in the preface, however, this book is written primarily for academic settings, to serve as an introductory text for incipient criminal justice policymakers. Consequently, not all of the information will be of use to security professionals. How useful, for example, is a chapter that covers technological aids available for teaching a course on statistics?

Notwithstanding its limited everyday appeal to security professionals, the book has value because of its timeliness, scope of coverage, and depth of information. Perhaps a future edition will shift the focus between criminal justice and security management, making this book indispensable not only for criminal justice practitioners and educators but also for the private security community.


Reviewer: Bob Sena, CPP, a former member of the New York City Police Department, is an adjunct instructor of criminal justice at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York, where he also serves as director of security and safety. Sena is a member of ASIS International.

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