Video and Video Analytics
The availability of quality video technology has had a profound impact on society. A video recording of a critical incident and law enforcement encounters with the public can provide evidentiary value in a case, presenting a visual and audio record of events as they unfolded.
Attorneys can use sophisticated video evidence presentation systems to help communicate with juries. Video can be used for depositions and in place of stenography for permanent court records. Courts can use videoconferencing for remote witness appearances and to conduct some judicial proceedings from jail facilities, which can save inmate transport costs and improve safety and security at a courthouse. Videoconferencing can make it easier to allow victims and child witnesses to testify and can expedite cases.
Video analytics technology automates the review of surveillance video data. Intelligent software can analyze movement in live and recorded video to enhance situational awareness and alert officers monitoring the system to suspicious behaviors.
The use of videoconferencing technology can reduce costs and expedite the judicial process. Pretrial release hearings is one use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.A National Institute of Justice project is studying the use of videoconferencing at pretrial release hearings. The purpose of this project is to identify protocols that improve practices and maximize return on investment using videoconferencing to expedite pretrial release hearings for defendants who are being held in jail awaiting trial. The first phase of a study compiled information on past and current videoconferencing applications via interviews and court/jail observation to identify key concerns and solutions for protocol. Subsequent phases will include field testing and evaluation. Read the Phase 1 Final Report (PDF 1 mb, 48 pages) or the Executive Summary (PDF 600 kb, 9 pages) presented on NIJ's web page on Research on Videoconferencing Pretrial Release Hearings.
Monitoring and analyzing large amounts of video surveillance can be challenging. Video analytics technology automates the review of surveillance video data. Intelligent software can analyze movement in live and recorded video to enhance situational awareness and alert officers to suspicious behaviors and threats.
The National Institute of Justice awarded funds to GE for the development of technology for the automated detection of disorderly and criminal activities. This technology not only assesses simple motion-based behavior, but estimates meaningful social relationships between people and groups. It can operate in places such as prisons, parks and schools and can estimate crowd size, density and predict behaviors such as fighting and agitation. Read more about this topic on NIJ's web page on Video Analytics for Criminal Justice Uses.
Predictive analytics concerns extracting information from data to analyze patterns and predict future trends.
Another National Institute of Justice-funded project is in development at the University of Houston. Researchers are developing a smart video surveillance system to predict suspicious behaviors and analyze large-area activities. The system uses computational tools to detect and track human subjects and analyze their motion patterns in an effort to counteract aggravated assault, vandalism and theft in public spaces. Read more about this topic on NIJ's web page on Video Analytics for Criminal Justice Uses.