Technology

In Roanoke County, Virginia, a trip to the public library might include reading, online research, 3D printing—and, since last summer, the opportunity to chat with Pepper, a 4-foot-tall humanoid robot who sings, dances and teaches coding classes.

The Roanoke County Public Library was the first public system in the country to acquire Pepper, a decision made by staff members during a strategic planning session that focused largely on how the library hoped to evolve in a modern world increasingly focused on technology. During that discussion, someone mentioned that they’d heard of a robot named Pepper.

For several decades, supervision agencies have been leveraging a variety of technological innovations to better manage justice-involved individuals in the community. Perhaps no tool has captured the imagination of the criminal justice professionals and the public alike as much as location tracking system (LTS) technology, first introduced in 1996. The ability to track an individual in near-real time represented a substantial improvement over the previous technology, which was limited to monitoring an individual’s presence at a fixed location, usually the home.

This article provides a comprehensive narrative review of the research on evidence base for body‐worn cameras (BWCs). Seventy empirical studies of BWCs were examined covering the impact of cameras on officer behavior, officer perceptions, citizen behavior, citizen perceptions, police investigations, and police organizations. Although officers and citizens are generally supportive of BWC use, BWCs have not had statistically significant or consistent effects on most measures of officer and citizen behavior or citizens’ views of police. Expectations and concerns surrounding BWCs among police leaders and citizens have not yet been realized by and large in the ways anticipated by each.

The U.S. leads the global landscape in technology innovation. The country’s competitive edge, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Competitive Index, is due to its business dynamism, strong institutional pillars, financing mechanisms, and vibrant innovation ecosystem.[1] Innovation is a trademark feature of American competitiveness and has powered its global dominance since the post-World-War industrial revolution. Countries that lead the world in generating advanced technologies and leveraging the full productive capacity of their digital economies can gain a strategic competitive advantage.

Agility requires fast, innovative, customer-centric tech -- and workers aren't ready for it.

Though 73% of U.S. workers say artificial intelligence will eliminate more jobs than it creates, just 18% say they are "extremely confident" they could secure the training they need for digitalization, according to a Gallup/Northeastern University study, Optimism and Anxiety: Views on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Higher Education's Response.

And when asked about the skills needed for digitalization, 52% in France, 43% in Germany, 37% in Spain and 30% in the U.K. say the demand for their qualifications will only increase. In no country do more than 9% say the demand for their qualifications will decrease.

Representing the views of 10,000 adults in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and including interviews with chief human resources officers at 10 large corporations based in these three countries, this study from Northeastern University and Gallup measures perceptions of the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, as well as the education choices respondents would make in response and their confidence in higher education, government and business to plan for widespread AI adoption.

Key findings:

Some threats to correctional institutional security — e.g., violence, escape attempts, contraband — are as old as the institutions themselves, while other threats — e.g., computer hacking, synthetic drugs, cell phones, drones — have evolved with societal and technological changes. Many of these threats present risks to public safety as a whole. In light of the ongoing challenges the corrections sector faces in countering these threats, RAND researchers convened an expert workshop to better understand the challenges and identify the high-priority needs associated with threats to institutional security.

The ability of governments and law enforcement agencies to monitor the public using facial recognition was once the province of dystopian science fiction. But modern technology is increasingly bringing versions of these scenarios to life. A recent investigation found that U.S. law enforcement agencies are using state Department of Motor Vehicles records to identify individual Americans without their consent, including those with no criminal record. And countries such as China have made facial recognition technology a cornerstone of their strategies to police the behaviors and activities of their publics.

The tech landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade, both in the United States and around the world. There have been notable increases in the use of social media and online platforms (including YouTube and Facebook) and technologies (like the internet, cellphones and smartphones), in some cases leading to near-saturation levels of use among major segments of the population. But digital tech also faced significant backlash in the 2010s.

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Technology solutions could improve officer safety and skills.  Technology can be leveraged to train officers more effectively on basic skills and evidence-based interventions, assess whether they are implementing that training with fidelity, and facilitate a timely feedback loop. Given an increasing emphasis on providing supervision services in the communities where offenders live and work, technology should be leveraged to enhance officers' ability to work in the field. One key aspect is safety; advanced emergency duress systems should be developed and evaluated to determine their impact on lone-worker safety  Technology can assist in the delivery of evidence-based interventions known to reduce recidivism. Automated tools are needed to help officers identify the most criminogenic needs to target with a particular offender. As agencies consider transitioning to community-based supervision, research is needed to evaluate the impact of a more mobile workforce. Best practices also are needed to guide agencies as they implement mobility strategies.