Innovations in Criminal Justice Administration: A Look Ahead

Published on: June 24, 2024

In light of social justice reform and advancing technology, the field of criminal justice is in the midst of seismic change. As the field continues to shape and evolve over time, those interested in criminal justice administration should closely monitor the trends that will impact criminal justice careers.

Technological Advances in Criminal Justice

Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, and these changes are having a direct impact on the criminal justice field. Updated technology in criminal justice is helping to reduce the impact of staff shortages, improve the accuracy of investigations and increase positive outcomes for victims of crimes.

The Use of Law Enforcement Drones

Law enforcement departments around the country have found that they have been able to leverage drone technology to increase the speed and precision of their investigations, while simultaneously protecting the safety and security of their officers. According to Axon, law enforcement drones are commonly used to:

  • Serve as first responders to collect valuable data about an incident.
  • Complement the work of search-and-rescue officers, often utilizing heat sensing technology and cameras to improve the outcome of the mission.
  • Capture footage of accidents to aid in the reconstruction and investigation process.

Crime Analysis Software and Its Role in Criminal Justice

Crime analysis software is a powerful tool that has become essential within the field of criminal justice. These advanced software programs are critical for digital forensics teams, who rely on the software to store evidence, collect data and analyze statistics. This then allows them to move forward on their case with precision and accuracy.

AI in Criminal Justice

Artificial Intelligence is playing an increasingly prominent role in the field of criminal justice, leaving many experts wondering about the ethical implications of utilizing this advanced technology. Currently, AI is used in criminal justice for facial recognition, digital forensics, risk assessment and predictive policing, and per the American Bar Association, it will continue to be a useful and relevant tool in the years to come.

Policy Reforms and Their Impact

Considering the social justice movements that have highlighted the shortcomings of the current criminal justice system, there have been many policy reform efforts in place. As these policy initiatives are implemented at the local, state and federal level, communities are beginning to see the impact that they will have on the criminal justice system.

Sentencing Reform

Recognizing the fact that not all sentencing is conducted in a fair and equal manner, sentencing reform efforts have sought to unilaterally improve the process of sentencing and reduce the risk of discrimination within the sentencing process. Advocates for sentencing reform believe that convicted criminals deserve sentences that align with the severity of the crime and that do not inflict any undue harm on the criminal.

Community Policing Strategies

Advanced and innovative community policing strategies strive to provide financial support and additional staff members to community police departments, to continue developing effective relationships between law enforcement and local communities. By employing local community members, law enforcement agencies can have a better understanding of the needs and perspectives of the communities they serve.

The Role of Data Analytics

Criminal justice data analytics plays a vital role in all aspects of criminal justice, including the fields of criminal psychology and cybercrime prevention. Data analysis allows law enforcement agencies to improve efficiency and maximize their use of resources, all while creating safer communities for people to live in.

Identifying Crime Hotspots

Rather than relying on human assumptions, data analytics tools allow law enforcement officers to track patterns of crime in a community and focus their efforts on hotspots where crime is occurring most frequently. This helps law enforcement agencies reduce the impact of prejudice and discrimination, all while allowing them to effectively allocate their resources.

Optimizing Resource Allocation in Law Enforcement

At a time when budgets seem to be dwindling while costs are rising, it can be difficult for law enforcement agencies to effectively manage and deploy their resources. Data analytics allows law enforcement officers and criminal justice experts to be aware of what resources they have available, and where they can best be utilized to have maximum impact on the department and the community as a whole.

Allowing for Evidence-Based Decision-Making

The data collected and analyzed by the best data analytics tools in the field can then be used by officers to make the best evidence-based decisions. Evidence-based decision-making can help improve:

  • Resource allocation in a law enforcement department.
  • Crime prevention strategies.
  • Investigative practices within a community.

Community Involvement and Restorative Justice

By taking a different look at the concept of criminal justice, restorative justice aims to provide individuals with the resources and support they need to prevent them from partaking in criminal behavior. Restorative justice is defined as a community-based approach to crime response. That said, all people within a community must work together to bring the concept of restorative justice to life.

The Three Pillars of Restorative Justice

Instead of viewing crime as a violation of society’s order and established norms, restorative justice aims to understand the cause of the crime. It seeks to identify solutions that can help reduce future crime. The concept of restorative justice is built upon three pillars, which are:

Harms and Needs

Within the practice of restorative justice, criminal activity is seen as a harm to society, and the goal of justice is to repair the harm that has been done to the victim. This pillar not only concerns itself with the harm that has been done to the victim, but also the damage that has occurred to the community and even to the perpetrator.


Any harm that occurs because of criminal activity creates obligations that must be addressed. For example, an individual who commits a crime and injures another person is obligated to fix the harm done. However, the obligation extends beyond the individual level, and seeks to hold communities accountable and responsible for repairing harmful damage.


Engagement is seen as the most crucial component of restorative justice, with advocates calling for community stakeholders to volunteer their time to create a cohesive and positive environment within the community at large. For restorative justice practices to be successful, criminals, victims and community members must work together to repair harm and prevent crime in the future.

Training and Education in Criminal Justice

Ongoing training and professional development will continue to be crucial in the field of criminal justice. Even after you have earned your Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, you will want to invest in training and professional development. This will ultimately help you become familiar with the latest technology and aware of the trends that will continue to shape the field.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations

In the evolving social climate, criminal justice professionals have many challenges and ethical considerations to keep in mind. The most pressing ethical issues in criminal justice often focus on equality and fairness, ensuring that people are receiving treatment proportionate to the crime committed.

Top Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice

The top ethical issues in criminal justice are:

  • The use of force during policing.
  • Racial discrimination and profiling during policing.
  • Systemic racism and its impact on the criminal justice system.
  • Ethical standards while off-duty.
  • Profiling during policing.
  • Eliminating bias during policing.

Future Outlook of Criminal Justice Administration

Given the shifting landscape of the criminal justice field, it’s not surprising that there will continue to be new and innovative opportunities for professionals interested in criminal justice administration. Understanding the current market trends while also evaluating the future needs of the criminal justice field will allow you to prepare accordingly for a long and fruitful career.

Career Pathways and Opportunities

Within the field of criminal justice, there are many career pathways and job opportunities to pursue. These pathways may allow you to select a path that combines your strengths and skills along with your interests and passions.

These are some of the most common criminal justice careers:

  • Law enforcement officers
  • Corrections officers
  • Investigators
  • Policy analysts
  • Criminal justice research and development
  • Criminal justice technology specialist

Regardless of the type of work that you want to do in the field of criminal justice, you will find that a comprehensive, skills-based bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will allow you to prepare for this career.

Salary and Job Outlook

The salary for criminal justice professionals will vary significantly, based on the position that you acquire and where it is located. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that law enforcement officers earn a median annual salary of about $75,000, and the field is expected to grow by about three percent between 2022 and 2032.

Future-Proof Your Criminal Justice Career With a Degree From Park University

Whether you have an interest in education in criminal justice, or you are passionate about the latest law enforcement technology, you will find that a criminal justice degree from Park University allows you to prepare for a career in this dynamic field. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration degree program covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of this field, allowing you to develop the core competencies required for many of the top criminal justice careers.

Request more information about our online degree programs today.

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