Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

History of Criminal Investigation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_421


During the course of history, police organizations have responded to a variety of external forces that have caused changes in how organizations perform the investigative function and the methods used to investigate criminal occurrences. This entry describes the evolution of the criminal investigation function in the United States. The predecessors of modern detectives (informers and parliamentary reward, thief-takers, thief-makers) are discussed, the tactics and technologies of early investigations in the USA are examined, the development and importance of private detectives and state and federal law enforcement agencies are discussed, and changes in the investigative function through the political, reform, and community problem-solving eras of policing are chronicled.

The purpose of this entry is to provide an overview of the history of the criminal investigation function in American law enforcement. An understanding of history, the history of criminal investigations in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA