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Criminal Justice System - Biometric Identification

Essay by   •  August 25, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,851 Words (8 Pages)  •  2,196 Views

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The current way the law enforcement officials gain the identification of criminals and suspected criminals has dramatically changed over the course of the 21st century. In this paper, I will discuss the technological advances in the criminal identification process, but mainly will discuss biometric identification. Technological advances will be described, as well as, the advantages and disadvantages. In this paper will look at how the crime control model and due process model look at the biometric identification. Summarization of the findings and recommendations will be made concerning the use of biometric identification.


Within the Criminal Justice System officer's gain identities of criminals in many different ways. A few of the ways that they accomplish this is by DNA analysis, Biometric Identification, fingerprint analysis, and Camera and wiretap surveillance. This paper will focus on the process of biometric identification. What are some of the disadvantages and advantages to biometric identification? With the current technological advances that are being done with criminal procedures, a person has to wonder if one's constitutional rights of an accused person are being upheld and from what perspective; The Crime Control Model or the Due Process model? In order to have these questions answered, we first must look at what biometric identification is and how does it work.

Biometric Identification

Biometric identification has been associated with top secret applications that are very costly. The costs of such applications today are going down due to the ever evolving technologies. Biometric identification has now become more cost effective, highly accurate, and reliable way to obtain a person's identification.

What exactly is Biometric Identification? The term 'biometrics' refers strictly speaking to a science involving the statistical analysis of biological characteristics. Here biometrics is used in a context of analyzing human characteristics for a security purpose.

The distinction can be clarified with following definition:

"A biometric is a unique, measurable characteristic or trait of a human being for automatically recognizing or verifying identity."

This measurable characteristic, Biometric, can be physical, such as eye, face, finger image, hand and voice or behavioural, like signature and typing rhythm. Biometric system must be able to recognize or verify it quickly and automatically.( Huopio, S.,1998)

The Biometric Identification process works in storing information on a person or persons so it can be used to identify a person in the future.

Companies have come up with software that aids with the storage of these items in the criminal justice system. A couple types of software that is used in the criminal justice system are, ComnetiX Repository for Intergraded Criminalistic and IntelliBook.

The ComnetiX(TM) Repository for Integrated Criminalistic Imaging, IntelliBook(TM) is a full featured suite of advanced software for automated booking and investigative support in law enforcement and criminal justice applications. The IntelliBook software family allows law enforcement agencies to efficiently manage the complex process of collecting, editing, submitting, and retrieving biometric data records for arrested subject processing and for employment/ permit criminal history record checks. The contemporary, open- systems architecture of IntelliBook enables the rapid evolution of system business rules that is required to maintain concurrency with ever-changing State and Federal laws and court decisions. Using the field-proven IntelliBook system, ComnetiX law enforcement clients have performed significant re-engineering of their arrest and background check processing to achieve improved criminal history accuracy and speed response to identification inquiries, enhancing public safety through more expeditious and equitable administration of justice.(PR Newswire,2005)

There are more versions of these types of software that help aid in the biometric identification process.

The use of these software help law enforcement agencies store finger prints, palm prints, DNA information, and pictures, along with other information on criminals for comparison in the future if that person has committed another crime anywhere in the United States. Better technology is coming out more and more each year that aids in the biometric identification process that is cheaper and more cost effective for the criminal justice system to use.

All biometric identification or authentication technologies operate using the following four stage procedure:

* Capture - A physical or behavioural sample is captured by the system during enrolment and also in identification or verification process.

* Extraction - Unique data is extracted from the sample and a template is created.

* Comparison - The template is then compared with a new sample.

* Match/Non Match - The system then decides if the features extracted from the new sample are a match or a non match. ( Huopio, S.,1998)

When people in the criminal justice system compares the different biometrics, false rejection probabilities of who is the true owner to biometric and false acceptance of user that are fraudulent are being used to measure accuracy and the performance of the biometrics technology.

Physical Biometric devices have 3 primary components:

* An automated mechanism that scans & captures a digital or analog image of a living personal characteristic.

* Another entity handles compression, processing, storage, and comparison of the captured data with the stored data.

* The third interfaces with application systems.

On biometric systems there are



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