U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Using a Simulation Model to Examine the Allocation of Technology to Improve the Criminal Justice System

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $74,598)

In this grant, a team at the University at Albany will develop a proof of concept computer simulation model to examine the effects of technological innovations through the flow of criminals in the criminal justice system in a generic state.

The criminal justice system in the United States is large, complex and involves the activities of a number of relatively independent entities. These independent entities range from State and local police departments, to DAs, courts, jails, prisons, probation, and parole. A criminal passing through the system may come into contact with all of these entities at one time or another.

This project will look at how a criminal moves through the system, map out the resources required, and develop a formal computer simulation model. The formal computer simulation model would represent an aggregate view of the system over which assumptions about the effectiveness of different technologies could be overlaid in order to capture the movement of criminals through the criminal justice system. This model would be used as a proof-of-concept model that could be used to think through the allocation of technology resources through the system. The model would also be a starting point for additional modeling that would disaggregate the system further for additional analysis.

The key issues to be examined by the formal system dynamics model will be:

1) What are the system wide implications of technological improvements?
2) Will technological improvement in one area result in performance problems in other parts of the system?


Date Created: September 15, 2005