Sexual offenders have to live by a very particular set of rules. They can’t live near playgrounds, they’re on a registry for life. These rules exist to make everyone safer. But they also can limit a reformed criminal’s ability to reintegrate into everyday life and be productive members of society.
Monica Williams, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Weber State University and author, The Sex Offender Housing Dilemma: Community activism, safety, and social justice
The technology used to catch criminals is constantly being invented and then reinvented. From fingerprints to DNA, advancements in technology have allowed authorities to more accurately and efficiently locate and apprehend criminals. Now, what may be the largest addition to the tool belt of the criminal justice system yet is the technology we all carry in our pockets daily.
Cellphones have long been used to find and convict criminals, mainly through call logs and cell tower triangulation, but mobile devices now serve as de facto personal GPS trackers with extreme accuracy. Oxygen Forensics Inc. creates software that allows investigators to extract and interpret data from practically any digital device. Lee Reiber, COO for the company, says there now exists more mobile devices than people on this Earth, and the uses for our mobile data are infinite.
Even if a suspect refuses to talk, their mobile data can serve as evidence of location, communication history, and proximity to others. It also holds records of all documents and information that many of us wrongly assume is private. Pressing delete doesn’t mean information can’t be recovered and, even in cases where no mobile phone is involved, Reiber says any ‘smart’ device that collects data (and they all do) can be utilized.
What else can the data being collected around us be used for? Jerry Ropelato is the CEO of White Clouds, a large scale 3D printing technology company. He says virtually any set of information can be transformed to a physical object using 3D printing.
Whether it’s used to create medical materials or to build a exact model of an object, the possibilities are endless. Recently, White Clouds aided a defense attorney by replicating a residential crime scene to better convey their side of the story to the jury. No matter the use of these technologies, one thing is clear. This is only the beginning phase of the possible applications and only time will tell the true impact.
Americans pride themselves on never forgetting the attacks and terrorism of our history, but somehow a 1920 attack on New York City has slipped through the cracks. Author Jed Rubenfeld talks about the first car bomb attack on Wall Street, the backdrop for one of his historical fiction novels.
Developing Forensic Technology: New solutions for tracking and convicting criminals
New gadgets and programs are constantly being invented. We talk to two leading experts on the subjects to highlight some of the software and hardware helping police and lawyers find the right criminals and get them convicted.
Most of us rely on our debit cards, finding it easier to not use cash for transactions, however, the United States Treasury still printed up to 80 billion dollars of paper money last year. Where is all this money going? What is it being used for?
In his book The Curse of Cash, Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff describes that printed cash often causes citizens to be poorer and less safe. He claims that printed cash is used for evading tax and committing crimes like buying and selling drugs. He believes that cash needs to provide value to citizens rather than authorizing crime. He believes that if society used less cash, then perhaps crime could be reduced.
One solution Rogoff proposes is “financial inclusion”, a system where people on welfare receive debit cards. In countries like India, the fast majority of the population receive a debit account through welfare. This saves the government money because they no longer have to print checks, and those receiving welfare do not have to transfer checks into their account. With the debit system, the money from welfare goes directly into a debit account which the recipients then can spend. This would make transactions easier for people and could lead to less reliance on cash.
Rogoff predicts the termination of cash bills in the next 10-20 years.
Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics at Harvard University and author of The Curse of Cash
With new gadgets and programs being invented every day, the technologies used in solving crimes are changing constantly. We reached out to leading experts on the subject, including a programmer, a 3D printing specialist, and best-selling crime author Patricia Cornwell. Through these interviews, we got the inside scoop on how mobile devices, 3D models, and even “smart home” devices like a refrigerator can be used to crunch the data, solve crimes, and present cases in court.
Synopsis: There are millions of people incarcerated in American prisons – many of them juveniles sentenced to long terms alongside adults. Should children be tried as adults and sent to adult prisons? Are they mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions? Or should they be treated differently than adults who commit serious offenses? Our guests discuss why we have so many people incarcerated and how juveniles – even those who commit murder – should be given another chance.
Many school-aged children in the U.S. end up in juvenile detention or expelled from school for offenses ranging from arriving late to breaking the dress code to fighting in the hallway. Once “pushed out” from school, these children are often headed down the road to a life of poverty and more serious crimes. A good portion of these kids are African-American girls who, our guest says, are unfairly targeted for discipline because of a misunderstanding of their behavior. We discuss this phenomenon and also talk to a professor who has studied the effect that extremely strict school rules have on the students and the teachers who are made to enforce them.