Supporting the Nation's Judicial System & the Public it Serves


Chatbots in the Criminal Justice System: An Overview of Chatbots and Their Underlying Technologies and Applications

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supported the Criminal Justice Testing and Evaluation Consortium has released a technology brief to help us better understand the use of chatbots in criminal justice. (Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users.) Five major takeaways include…

1. Chatbots have the potential to improve efficiency, reduce costs and workloads, expand capabilities, and aid users across many criminal justice use cases; however, capturing these gains requires forethought and may require significant investment and time. 

2. Stakeholders should consider the economic, operational, legal, safety, and privacy implications of implementing chatbots. 

3. Despite advances in AI, deploying AI-driven chatbots is not a “plug-and-play” opportunity for criminal justice applications; access to high-quality data for training the chatbot is critical for success. 

4. Chatbots have the potential to reduce administrative burden by freeing up staff to work on higher value tasks; however, the organization needs to consider how it will ensure human oversight of the chatbot to mitigate any potential risks. 

5. The continuous advancement of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) will expand chatbot use cases and applications in the criminal justice system. 

For more information and to download the full report, please visit: Chatbots in the Criminal Justice System (