Criminology in the Future
The core objective of the present study is to make insight into the evolutionary metamorphoses in the domain of criminology in order to predict the future of this discipline. In this connection, it is expected that the present research will adequately address a series of problems in the field of criminology. The first problem to be discussed is the developing law enforcement and forensic technologies employed to detect criminal activities. The second problem to be discussed is the issue of civil liberty and ethical violations as they relate to the developing technologies. The third problem to be discussed is the impact of the evolved crime fighting technologies on social policy from national and international perspectives.
An in-depth scrutiny of data which has been published in the web-site of the National Center for Victims of Crime reveals that the contemporary science and practice of criminology encounters a wide range of challenges which determine the future development of the discipline. Thus, it is obvious that the DNA-related forensic technologies are going to be developed further in the future. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (n.d.), the Center aims at intensifying the awareness about the significance of forensic DNA as an instrument helping to ‘solve and prevent crime and bring justice to victim’.
Also, it is possible to notice that the application of the DNA-related forensic instruments is becoming more and more intertwined with the provision of victim services. Feasibly, in the future, the victim service providers will be more prone to rely on DNA information from victims. The problem of victim protection, rehabilitation and assistance seems to become more dominant in the near future (The National Center for Victims of Crime, n.d.).
Not opposed to the National Center for Victims of Crime (n.d.), the USA Patriot Act (2002) also focuses to victim-related issues. The analysis of the Act makes evident that the problems of victims and their families is urgent under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act (2002). Title VI of the Act regulates new types of expedited payments to be made to families of public safety officers. Thence, a special emphasis is laid upon public safety officers. Other provisions of the Act articulate that the USA is more and more inclined towards augmenting its law enforcement, security and forensic instruments in such domains as counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence, and public security.
For instance, Title V of the USA Patriot Act (2002) articulates that the USA is prepared to take all necessary measures to remove obstacles to investigating terrorism. Thus, the Act extends the understanding of terrorism by juxtaposing terrorism and racketeering (The USA Patriot Act, 2002, Sec. 813). Also, many terms such as cyber-terrorism are redefined in the framework of the USA Patriot Act (2002). The analysis of the Act unravels the predisposition of the US government to simplify law enforcement and forensic procedures by facilitating access to individuals and organizations. The major controversy of the Act lies in the establishment of national security letters (hereinafter referred to as NSL). These demand letters are issued to specific organizations to disclose different record and data in concerning individuals. This law enforcement instrument should be deemed the most controversial one in terms of the USA Patriot Act (2002). The NSLs which are conceived to protect the country against international terrorism seems to be the instrument of ethical and legal violations.
The anti-personal perspectives of criminology may be found in the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (2003). This fact is often recognized as the extension of the USA Patriot Act, or, in other words, Patriot II. The Act is draft legislation that has never been introduced to the US Congress. The main particularity of the Act is its focus on the expansion of the US federal government’s powers, coupled with the simultaneous diminishment of the judicial review of these powers.
The rationale of introducing the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (2003) lies in the endeavors of the US executive power to eliminate court-ordered restrictions against law-enforcing agencies spying on domestic groups. This means, the Act (2003) is conceived as a facilitation of law enforcement in the future. It is expected that this facilitation will be achieved through the creation of the DNA database of suspected terrorists. In this sense, the US government seeks to extend the criteria under which personal data will be included in data bases.
Besides, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (2003) provides that the Federal Bureau of Investigations would be supplied with the competence to perform searches and surveillance based on intel collected abroad without first obtaining an order of the court. Also, the Act expands the list of crimes eligible for the application of the death penalty. In summary, the provisions of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (2003) as draft legislation are directed towards the strengthening of governmental control over social processes in the country. The proposed procedures of policing, law enforcement and forensic investigation evince that criminology in the United States experiences significant metamorphoses.
The analysis of the Home Security Act (2002) reacknowledges the aforementioned findings. This Act has been enacted after the September 11 attacks. The major particularities of the Act is the fact that it gave rise to multiple security establishments such as the Department of Homeland Security, Science and technology in support of homeland security, Directorate of border and transportation security etc. The proliferation of various security agencies under the provisions of the Act (2002) means that the future of criminology lies in the total control of law enforcement authorities over human lives.
It seems that the US government does not deem it necessary to develop criminology as the science and practice of finding and explaining the roots of crime. Contrariwise, the government aims at using criminological science as an instrument of prevention and deterrence of potentially dangerous or unsuitable activities.