ANN ARBOR – Increases in telework, telehealth, and other changes in daily technology use as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic may permanently change how people live their lives. One forecast by Global Workplace Analytics estimates that up to 30% of Americans could regularly work from home at the end of 2021. Ninety-three percent of respondents to a Pew Research survey at the end of March 2020 agreed “a major interruption to their internet or cellphone service during the outbreak would be a problem in their daily life.” Keeping facts like these in mind, It is more important than ever to understand the implications of ever-evolving technology-use across academic disciplines. Criminal justice is no exception. In criminology, there are indications that the COVID-19 pandemic is exerting an influence in areas like prison populations counts and domestic violence reporting calls. The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) provides datasets that can help guide the exploration and extension of research ideas for topics connecting technology and criminology. Some noteworthy NACJD datasets relate to the following topics:
- Cybercrime. With the increase in online shopping and financial transactions due to COVID-19, research on issues such as identity theft can help us understand why and how stolen data is used by cybercriminals. One example of such data is ICPSR study no. 35002, Examining the Structure, Organization, and Processes of the International Market for Stolen Data, 2007-2012.
- Child and Teen Internet Use. School may not be in session, but the void that technology is filling in a teens’ social life can include many of the same day-to-day relationship pressures as explored in ICPSR study no. 34741, Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying in Three States, 2011-2012, and ICPSR study no. 36096, Technology-Involved Harassment Victimization: Placement in a Broader Victimization Context, 2013-2014. Researchers may also be interested in seeing how past internet safety curricula for children have succeeded or fallen short in fostering good digital citizenship practices. For information on this topic, look at ICPSR study no. 34371, Evaluation of Internet Safety Materials Used by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces in School and Community Settings, 2011-2012.
- Technology Use in Prisons. What value does technology have when a prisoner’s connection to family or friends can’t happen through in-person visitation? What about in-person treatment? These questions can be explored with data from ICPSR study no. 36843, A New Role for Technology? The Implementation and Impact of Video Visits in State Prisons, Washington, 2012-2015, and ICPSR study no. 36111, Experimental Comparison of Telepsychiatry and Conventional Psychiatry for Mentally Ill Parolees in California, 2011-2015.
Interested researchers can use the Bibliography of Data-Related Literature at ICPSR to see how each of these studies have already been examined in scholarly literature and gain ideas for extending prior research. When you use or analyze the data, be sure to cite it so it can also be featured in a Bibliography with nearly 90,000 other publications!
By Sarah Burchart and A.J. Million
Special thanks to Dory Knight-Ingram and Chelsea Samples-Steele