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Proceedings Paper

Human reliability assessment: tools for law enforcement
Author(s): Thomas G. Ryan; Trudy K. Overlin
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Paper Abstract

This paper suggests ways in which human reliability analysis (HRA) can assist the United State Justice System, and more specifically law enforcement, in enhancing the reliability of the process from evidence gathering through adjudication. HRA is an analytic process identifying, describing, quantifying, and interpreting the state of human performance, and developing and recommending enhancements based on the results of individual HRA. It also draws on lessons learned from compilations of several HRA. Given the high legal standards the Justice System is bound to, human errors that might appear to be trivial in other venues can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful prosecution. HRA has made a major contribution to the efficiency, favorable cost-benefit ratio, and overall success of many enterprises where humans interface with sophisticated technologies, such as the military, ground transportation, chemical and oil production, nuclear power generation, commercial aviation and space flight. Each of these enterprises presents similar challenges to the humans responsible for executing action and action sequences, especially where problem solving and decision making are concerned. Nowhere are humans confronted, to a greater degree, with problem solving and decision making than are the diverse individuals and teams responsible for arrest and adjudication of criminal proceedings. This paper concludes that because of the parallels between the aforementioned technologies and the adjudication process, especially crime scene evidence gathering, there is reason to believe that the HRA technology, developed and enhanced in other applications, can be transferred to the Justice System with minimal cost and with significant payoff.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 January 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2939, Training, Education, and Liability Issues for Law Enforcement Scientists and Engineers, (21 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.263477
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas G. Ryan, Idaho National Engineering Lab. (United States)
Trudy K. Overlin, Idaho National Engineering Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2939:
Training, Education, and Liability Issues for Law Enforcement Scientists and Engineers
Trudy K. Overlin; Kathryn J. Stevens, Editor(s)

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