Science and Technology News

Friday, April 28, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

3 Seattle Cops Shot as 7-Eleven Robbery Turns Deadly
SeattlePI.com, (04/21/2017), Lynsi Burton
Three Seattle police officers, one of whom was saved by her body armor, are recovering from wounds sustained while responding to a reported robbery at a convenience store on April 21. A 42-year-old female officer was reported in satisfactory condition after her armor apparently blocked a bullet; one of the two male officers shot in the incident received a flesh wound in the hand and was treated and released. The second took an initial shot in the face that was deflected downward; he was in serious but stable condition. The robbery suspect died from multiple gunshot wounds.
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Gunfire Sensors Credited With Quick Arrest in Fresno Rampage
CTPost.com, (04/22/2017), Scott Smith for the Associated Press
The Fresno Police Department gives credit to its gunshot detection system for the fast apprehension of Kori Ali Muhammad, the gunman accused of killing three people April 18 in what has been described as a hate crime vendetta. Once a report of gunshots is verified, ShotSpotter provides, at minimum, location, number and time that shots were fired. Fresno officers receive the information on their smartphones and squad-car laptops.
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PSA Video Aims to Build Trust Between Police and Southern Wake Residents
News&Observer.com, (04/22/2017), Thomasi McDonald
Police chiefs and community leaders from six towns in southern Wake County, N.C., have teamed up to appear in a one-minute public service announcement aimed at building trust between police and the community. Plans call for promoting the video through social media.
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Is Your Loved One Special Needs? Police Would Like To Know, Too
Waukesha Patch.com, (04/22/2017), Scott Anderson
The Waukesha (Wis.) Police Department offers a "Special Needs Form" that family members may fill out to inform officers about likes and dislikes, triggers and sensory issues, and possible de-escalation solutions that can be used with specific citizens with special needs. The information on the voluntary form remains completely confidential and will be entered into a special database accessible only to police department personnel.
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Want a Rhode Island Driver's License? Smiling No Longer Allowed
Providence Journal, (04/20/2017), Jennifer Bogdan
Individuals having photos taken for new driver's licenses and photo ID cards in Rhode Island must now comply with a number of requirements including removing glasses, keeping hair away from the facial area and not smiling. The new requirements are aimed at providing images that work with the state's facial recognition software and thus assist law enforcement.
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For Two Years, a Wheat Ridge Elementary School Sat Empty. Now It Trains Law Enforcement for School Shootings.
Denver Post, (04/24/20217), Peyton Garcia
The Frank DeAngelis Center for Community Safety in Wheat Ridge, Colo., which is housed in a former elementary school, offers a one-of-a-kind training facility for dealing with school shootings. SWAT teams and other law enforcement officers from agencies across the nation have been using the training center, where a donated use-of-force simulator uses actors to recreate domestic violence situations and incidents involving mentally ill individuals, in addition to school shootings.


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Corrections News

State Correctional Facilities Cracking Down on Employees Two Years After Dannemora Escape
LocalSyr.com, (04/19/2017)
Employees of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS) must now bring their lunches and other personal belongings in clear plastic bags, aimed at reducing the amount of contraband smuggled into the state's correctional system. The change is a response to the 2015 escape of two convicts from the Dannemora facility; the escapees used tools smuggled to them by a corrections employee. The state has provided the approved bags to all employees, and in addition, has stepped up metal detector searches and the use of canines.
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Ohio Prisons Are In The Midst of a Suboxone-Smuggling Crisis
The Fix.com, (04/20/2017), Paul Gaita
Random drug tests conducted in Ohio prisons in December 2016 indicate that one out of every 20 inmates had used Suboxone, the addiction treatment drug that has become a highly sought-after form of contraband. Suboxone comes in small strips, similar in appearance to breath strips, and is easily converted to forms that can be smuggled into correctional facilities. A black-market strip may sell for as much as $100.
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Corrections Agency Scraps Prison Health Contract
NorthEscambia.com, (04/21/2017)
The Florida Department of Corrections has issued a required 18-day notice of termination to Wexford Health Sources, putting an early end to a contract that expired at the end of 2017. The health services provider received an extremely negative review earlier in April from the Correctional Medical Authority for poor service related to mental health, the state DOC said.
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Rikers COs Sue, Say City's Policy Changes Threaten Their Safety
CorrectionsOne.com, (04/26/2017), Larry Neimeister for the Associated Press
Claiming that recent policy changes in New York City's jails have placed corrections officers in danger, the nation's largest municipal jail guard union filed suit against the city on April 21. Filed in Manhattan federal court, the lawsuit alleges that violence has increased by nearly 20 percent since the implementation of policy changes in the wake of reports about inmate abuse, particularly at Rikers Island.
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Visit SchoolSafetyInfo.org to Read About Two New Reports on School Safety Technology



Go to www.schoolsafetyinfo.org, the Justice Technology Information Center's school safety website, to read "Using Technology to Prevent Violence in Schools." This new article looks at the results from two NIJ-funded research studies, including details on technologies used in schools, factors affecting the use of these technologies and what is known about their effectiveness. While you're on the site, check out more success stories, the calendar of events, resources and more.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

Greenville Police to Wear Body Cameras by the First Week of May
The Greenville News, (04/12/2017), Tesalon Felicien
Police in Greenville, S.C., will soon be wearing body cameras. The city police department is one of the final law enforcement agencies in Greenville County to implement the technology. The department is set to roll out 149 body cameras by May 5. Police have completed preparations for the program and will begin training and issuing the cameras to patrol officers and special units on April 19. The camera can be mounted on an officer's eye-wear or shoulder.
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New Computer-Aided Dispatch System Unites Local Public Safety Agencies
The Suburban Times, (04/12/2017)
South Sound 911 and the Tacoma Fire Department in Washington have launched a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, officially uniting public safety agencies countywide. All local police and fire agencies are now united on a single dispatch platform. The countywide CAD project was a six-year undertaking, and brought all public safety call takers, dispatchers and first responders onto the same CAD system to facilitate emergency communications and interoperability.
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Marquette University Establishes Milwaukee Area's First Cyber Security Center
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, (04/09/2017), Brittany Carloni
Marquette University has established a center that will focus on cyber security education, research and community involvement. The Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense will be affiliated with the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and the university's computer science department. It will help prepare Marquette students for cyber security professions, provide education on topics related to cyber security, and host events. The center also will focus on technical and industry-focused research to understand best cyber security practices.
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Corrections News

Shuttered Minnesota Prison Could Reopen
Correctional News, (04/12/2017)
A correctional facility in Appleton, Minn., could reopen under legislation approved by the state House of Representatives. The Prairie Correctional Facility was closed in 2010. The bill to reopen the facility is part of a comprehensive public safety proposal. It would allow inmates to be housed in non-publicly owned facilities and require the state to enter into a contract to operate and purchase, or lease to own, the Prairie Correctional Facility to address prison bed capacity shortfalls in the state, according to a statement issued by the office of the bill's sponsor, State Representative Tim Miller. The DOC would run the facility. The public safety proposal that includes the prison bill now goes to the Minnesota state Senate for consideration.
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W.Va. Begins Crisis Intervention Training for Prisons and Jails
The Register-Herald, (04/13/2017)
West Virginia crisis intervention teams will be trained on safely defusing and de-escalating incidents involving inmates with mental illness. The state Division of Corrections received a grant from the National Institute of Corrections last year, through which an initial class of correctional officers will receive 40 hours of intensive training adapted from the Memphis Model for crisis intervention. The state's prison system is also providing mental health first aid training for all correctional officers and facility staff.
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Addiction Drug Suboxone is Popular Prison Contraband
The Columbus Dispatch, (04/16/2017), Alan Johnson
Prison inmates in Ohio are abusing Suboxone, a prescription drug usually used to treat people with opioid addiction. Prison officials say a strip of Suboxone the size of a postage stamp, which melts on the tongue, sells for about $100 or more in a prison black market. The Suboxone strips are similar to small mouthwash strips but contain a slow-acting opioid. The strips are small and easy to hide behind a postage stamp, in the spine of a book, in a greeting card, or liquefied and placed on paper so it looks like a smudge but retains its drug properties. The inmate then eats the paper. Ed Voorhies, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction prison operations director, said mail is now inspected using a black light to detect drugs adhering to paper or cardboard. He said each prison also will soon be outfitted with ion scanners that "sniff" for trace drug residue on objects and people.
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Jail Study Points to Alternative Methods for Housing Pretrial Inmates
The Columbia Missourian, (04/12/2017), Kaitlin Washburn
A report proposes alternatives to housing pretrial inmates in the Boone County jail in Missouri, rather than increasing the size of the jail or building a new one to alleviate crowding. The report by former 13th Circuit Court Judge Gary Oxenhandler proposed more funding to Adult Court Services to improve its electronic services, such as providing electronic alerts for court dates and to expand its alternative incarceration options. He also proposed better evaluation of people who can't post bond to determine whether it's possible for them to avoid jail, more home detention options for nonviolent offenders and better auditing of the jail system to ensure that those being held have to be there for public safety reasons.
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Substance Use Recovery Program Starting at Jail
Herald-Tribune, (04/13/2017), Pete Spitler
The Randolph County Sheriff's Office and the Human Service Center are partnering to provide a drug substance recovery program for Randolph County Jail inmates. According to Sheriff Shannon Wolff, more than half of the inmates are in directly for possession of a controlled substance and drug-related crimes; the other 45 percent are in the jail for crimes connected to drugs such as burglary or theft. The HSC will offer a substance use program to inmates designed to reduce recidivism and promote recovery. The program is focusing on inmates who will be released within three to six months.
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