Science and Technology News

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Cybercrime Handbook for Community Corrections

I first want to thank Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster for inviting me to join this blog. It is indeed an honor. The majority of my knowledge base is in corrections, more specifically community corrections (probation and parole). That said, I also worked as a criminal investigator for a federal law enforcement agency for eight years. Over ten years ago I began to see that community corrections needed to develop skills in managing the risk posed by offender computer use. We were seeing a lot of sex crimes being committed with the aid of a computer and/or the Internet. Additionally, we were seeing more fraud cases as well as counterfeiting offenses committed with computers. I began exploring options, such as use of monitoring software and computer searches, and networking with others in my field as well as members of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association and the High Tech Crime Consortium. This process as well as real field trials helped me hone my expertise in managing offender risk in cyberspace. The end result was the book, The Cybercrime Handbook for Community Corrections, Managing Offender Risk in the 21st Century, by Charles C. Thomas Publishing, LTD.

The book covers also aspects of managing an offender’s computer use and includes such topics as searching, computer monitoring and online investigations in a community correction setting. It was written to empower pretrial, probation, and parole officers to meet the supervision challenges of the twenty-first century. Those who help train or assist these officers, such as law enforcement and IT staff , will also benefit from its contents. Additionally, anyone involved in managing a community corrections agency (supervisors, chiefs, court administrators, judges, parole commissioners, corrections directors, etc.) will also find its contents beneficial. Finally, both prosecutors and defense attorneys will be in a better position to advocate the various sentencing options, including the imposition of technological conditions, by reviewing this book’s material. I obviously am pleased with the results but don’t just take my word. Jim Tanner, national cybercrime expert and Project Coordinator for NLECTC (and KBSolutions’) Field Search Project honored me with writing the book’s Foreword. He notes in part:

"Not only does this book help community corrections professionals understand how to monitor computer use, but it helps us realize how information gained during monitoring can assist us in overall case management. The technology is now readily available to effectively manage offenders’ digital behavior. Bowker’s book moves us all toward a more informed use of the technology."
Again, thank you Raymond for allowing to contribute to this blog. Hopefully, I can add to the discussion on the evolving area of offender risk management in cyberspace in the 21st Century.

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