Science and Technology News

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

Los Angeles Approves $60 Million to Outfit Police Force With Body Cameras
The Wall Street Journal, (06/22/2016), Zusha Elinson

Los Angeles police will be getting body cameras. The city council approved a five-year, nearly $60 million plan for the purchase of thousands of cameras. With a plan to deploy 7,000 cameras, Los Angeles will become the largest police department in the U.S. to so widely adopt the technology. Los Angeles will pay the camera vendor $31 million for cameras and storage over five years. The rest of the money will pay for phones and data plans from another supplier, and support staff to handle the influx of video footage, according to city estimates.
Link to Article


Council Approves $17 Million Contracts for Austin Police Body Cameras
American-Statesman Staff, (06/23/2016), Nolan Hicks

The Austin City Council has approved two contracts totaling $17 million to provide police officers with body cameras. The council approved $12 million for the cameras and $5 million in cell phones and service from AT&T. City staff said that the cell phone purchase would provide the body camera system with extra capabilities.
Link to Article


Hartford Police Department Opens Its Doors for Community Meetings to Combat Crime
FOX61, (06/23/2016), Jenna DeAngelis

The Hartford Police Department is holding monthly meetings with the community to discuss current crime trends and crime prevention efforts. The department hopes the meetings will encourage people to trust the police department, and come forward with any tips, information or ideas to make Hartford a safer place.
Link to Article


Fentanyl Worries Changing Way Narcotics Officers Operate
ABC News, (06/26/20160, Jim Salter for the Associated Press

The street version of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, is forcing changes in long-standing basics of police drug investigations. Fentanyl is sold by itself and is used to lace heroin, cocaine and counterfeit prescription pills. A speck the size of a few grains of salt can potentially kill a 250-pound man, said Tommy Farmer, special agent in charge of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled if it becomes airborne. A memo issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration urges police to use caution from the outset of a stop. Officers should wear protective gloves before reaching into a suspect's pockets to avoid skin contact with loose fentanyl, and wear masks to protect their lungs in case it becomes airborne. The DEA discouraged field testing of drugs, saying confiscated materials should be sent straight to a lab.
Link to Article


Police Officer Shot 7 Times Released From the Hospital
Fox29, (06/27/2016)

A Folcroft, Pa., police officer survived being shot seven times on June 24, thanks in part to four bullets that were stopped by his ballistic-resistant vest. Officer Christopher Dorman left the hospital Monday following two surgeries to repair some of the damage from shots to the face, leg and groin. Dorman was responding to a call about a possible drug deal.
Link to Article


Corrections News

Researchers Suggest Ways to Reduce Jail, Prison Spending
Missoulian, (06/22/2016), Amy Beth Hanson for the Associated Press

Montana could reduce spending if detention facilities and treatment programs focused their services on those most likely to re-offend, according to researchers. The Council of State Governments Justice Center found that growth in the state's criminal justice system is being driven by past offenders committing new crimes or parole violators being returned to custody. It recommends that the state develop a risk/needs assessment tool to help determine a person's risk of re-offending. The state should hire more probation and parole officers to supervise those who are determined to be at a lower risk to reoffend.
Link to Article


Free College Courses to be Offered to CT Inmates
The Connecticut Mirror, (06/24/2016), Jacqueline Rabe

Seven prisons in Connecticut will begin offering inmates free enrollment in community college courses beginning in August. The program is possible because the U.S. Department of Education decided to test the impact of reversing a prohibition of giving inmates access to federal financial aid for education known as Pell Grants. In Connecticut, four schools in the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system were selected for a pilot program and an estimated 801 prisoners are expected to enroll.
Link to Article


Using Data Analytics to Curb the Billions We're Wasting in Our Jails
Government Technology, (06/23/2016), Stephen Goldsmith

Local governments could save money and make their communities safer by using data analytics to make decisions about pretrial detention. Just 10 percent of jurisdictions use risk data analytics when deciding which defendants should be detained. Jurisdictions that use data to make pretrial decisions have achieved lower costs, greater fairness and lower crime rates. Washington, D.C., releases 85 percent of defendants awaiting trial. Compared to the national average, those released in D.C. are two and a half times more likely to remain arrest-free and one and a half times as likely to show up for court.
Link to Article


Prisons Want to Use Tech to End In-Person Visits - These Librarians Have a Different Plan
mic.com, (06/23/2016), Jack Smith IV

The Brooklyn Public Library is planning to build video visitation areas in 12 of its locations in neighborhoods with high rates of incarceration to enable people to connect with jailed family members. The libraries plan to build visitation centers that are comfortable, humane and free to use. In some jails, families can pay as much as $30 for a 20 minute visit. The library already built one visitation room at its central location, and recently received nearly $400,000 in grant money from the Knight Foundation to expand to more libraries.
Link to Article


Technology Required to Keep Prison Cells Free of Cellphones
WRAL, (06/22/2016)

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has confiscated more than 4,300 cellphones from inmates in prisons across the state since 2011, including 382 so far this year. To fight the problem, prisons statewide have installed "cell-sense" systems, which trigger an alarm if someone tries to sneak a cellphone inside. Some facilities are also using "managed access," which blocks unauthorized cellphone signals and that is in the process of being rolled out statewide. Authorities also are experimenting with having prison visits done via videoconferencing.
Link to Article


New Technology Could Help Screen Inmate Mail for Drugs
The Anniston Star, (06/21/2016), Kirsten Fiscus

Authorities at the Calhoun County Jail in Alabama are considering new technology to help screen inmate mail for drugs. Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson recently saw a demonstration of the VeroVision mail screener, which detects drugs and chemicals used to dilute those substances. Currently, mail is screened and is opened if suspected of containing illicit substances or materials. Amerson said he would consider purchasing the $147,000 mail screener, but can't afford it now. The VeroVision requires that the mail be opened and scanned separately from the envelope.
Link to Article


How to Catch Drones Smuggling Drugs Into Prison
CNN Money, (06/24/2016), Heather Kelly

As drones become more prevalent, prisons are looking for ways to detect the devices, which have been used to attempt to deliver contraband to inmates. One technology on the market is the DroneTracker, a 17-inch-wide device containing cameras, sensors and microphones that can detect a drone within 1,640 feet. The device sends an alert when it senses a drone. Researchers in Michigan have designed a drone that catches other unwanted drones with a large net. The Dutch National Policy Agency trained a bald eagle to catch drones in its claws.
Link to Article

No comments:

Post a Comment