Police Enforcement And The Criminal Justice System Essay

Police Enforcement And The Criminal Justice System Essay

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The degree to which law enforcement and the criminal justice system has changed their polices in an attempt to control and prevent crime when it affects privacy and surveillance standards has come into question in today 's post-9/11 world. Globalization and technological advancements are the two factors that have had the biggest influence on changes in law enforcement surveillance. The extent to which law enforcement should be able to utilize surveillance techniques is a hotly debated topic in American culture, which values its right to privacy. It also presents the ethical issue of how much governmental and law enforcement intrusion into citizens ' private lives should be permitted as well as whether surveillance in public is a violation of civil liberties. The inclusion of surveillance equipment such as CCTV systems and data collection tools have exponentially expanded the amount of information and data available to law enforcement officials.
Surveillance of citizens by law enforcement and criminal justice professionals has risen exponentially over the years. Statistics show that "in 1997, around 20 percent of American police departments reported using some type of technological surveillance [and] by 2007 that number had risen to over 70 percent" (Rushin). Technological advances have allowed law enforcement agencies to drastically change the way investigations are conducted. Not only are Law enforcement officers today focus surveillance on assessing the risk and dangerousness of an individual (qtd. in Mitsilegas).
There are two factors that can be attributed to the changes the criminal justice system has undergone in recent years. According to Bloss, both globalization effects and increased electronic communication ...


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... had to shift its investigative and preventative techniques to keep up with criminals. Today 's society lives in fear of another domestic terror attack and has thus taken far-reaching steps to prevent it. Both CCTV systems and data collection methods are examples of surveillance techniques that law enforcement has embraced. However, despite the fact that police surveillance is legal, it still raises numerous ethical concerns. There is the question of how much it encroaches on the civil liberties of American citizens by attempting to predict their future behavior. Additionally, there is the potential for the information to be used improperly by those who have access to it. As law enforcement surveillance becomes more prevalent in American society, the discussion needs to focus on creating a balance between the need for security and citizens ' rights to privacy.

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