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What software programs are used in the criminal justice system (CJS) for the purposes of dealing with crime/criminal/data analysis (not MS Word) ? What are some potential additional uses in the CJS?

What software programs are used in the criminal justice system (CJS) for the purposes of dealing with crime/criminal/data analysis (not MS Word) ? 

What are some potential additional uses in the CJS? 

Are there reasons or concerns about using the standard or available programs? What are they? 

What program do we need that is not yet available?? What would it provide or do that is currently unavailable—I mean besides the Bat-computer below stately Wayne manner that can kick out the name and address of an offender.



There are quite a few software programs available for use for the criminal justice system beyond the ones used in most businesses, such as Microsoft’s Office 366 platform.  These applications are developed and designed specifically for the needs of law enforcement officials and agencies.

Some of these are: 

The National Software Reference Library, which was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  The National Software Reference Library collects software and file profiles from numerous sources to create a Reference Data Set (RDS) of information.  This RDS is used to review files on a computer by matching the file profiles in the RDS, alleviating extra work for investigators when trying to determine which files seized during part of an investigation are important as evidence (National Institute of Justice, 2018). 

Another collection of software programs designed for law enforcement is Field Search, which was developed by National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC).  This software allows non-technicians or non-computer experts to rapidly and efficiently search a computer while in the field and allows them to generate detailed reports on the files and information found on the device.  This provides a simple way to examine computer files, monitor computer usage, and assists with evidence gathering and reporting (National Institute of Justice, 2018).  

A software application developed by Rhode Island Digital Forensics Center, named Video Previewer is used to process a video, showing important frames in a PDF file.  This can be useful in investigations where normally watching through videos is largely time consuming.  The software allows an officer to select frames at specific intervals or to select frames of the footage based on scene changes (National Institute of Justice, 2018).   

The Forensic Information Data Exchange (FIDEX) system, developed by National Forensic Science Technology Center, is an electronic system which contains two sets of data, one set for sending forensic cases to a crime laboratory with the other data set being for tracking the court cases the forensic evidence is for.  The system determines the real time status of the court cases and alerts the laboratories on the status of the case.  The helps the lab by identifying which cases have priority and what cases have resulted in plea bargains or dismissals, which no longer require the evidence to be processed (National Institute of Justice, 2018).    

           Whatever software an agency or business uses, the computer administrators need to be sure that that applications are from a trusted a reliable source.  The sensitive nature of the data found in just about every segment of criminal justice requires a high level of safety and security to protect the computer systems and networks.


National Institute of Justice. (2018). NIJ funded software tools, apps and databases. Retrieved August 31, 2018, from https://www.nij.gov/topics/technology/pages/software-tools.aspx 

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