Science and Technology News

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Greenwood Police Buy Smart Tasers That Automatically Turn on Body Cameras
FOX59, (07/11/2016), Aishah Hasnie

Police in Greenwood, Ind., will be getting new smart Tasers next year that will automatically turn on body cameras. As soon as an officer removes the safety on the device, it will signal the body camera to begin recording. It will also automatically activate the camera of any other officer within a 30-yard radius.
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San Jose Police Deploy Body-Worn Cameras
Bay City News, (07/12/2016), Jamey Padojino

San Jose police are among the latest law enforcement officers to begin wearing body cameras. The department tested three camera models last year before choosing a model. Criteria include unlimited storage capacity, lightweight cameras and a cloud-based management software.
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New Hampshire Police Academy Simulator Offers Real-World Scenarios
Government Technology, (07/18/2016), Shawne K. Wickham for The New Hampshire Union Leader

The New Hampshire Police Academy is using a state-of-the-art training simulator that uses 300-degree video images to create real-world scenarios. In the simulator, officers use handguns, Tasers and pepper spray canisters that are designed to feel like the real thing but use lasers instead. The academy's media specialist programs the scenarios and can change what happens in response to the decisions a recruit makes. After a scenario runs, instructors debrief recruits about what they did and whether their actions were legally justified.
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Corrections News

Advocates Fear More Heroin Withdrawal Deaths in Jails
The Washington Post, (07/11/2016) Maryclaire Dale for The Associated Press

There have been at least half a dozen inmate deaths nationwide in the last two years involving heroin withdrawal, and health advocates fear the number will grow given the nation's heroin crisis. Some larger prison systems have programs to help detainees with drug problems, such as a methadone maintenance program at Rikers Island in New York. But smaller jails may lack in-house medical units or sufficient monitoring.
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Wisconsin Supreme Court Allows State to Continue Using Computer Program to Assist in Sentencing
The Capital Times, (07/13/2016), Katelyn Ferral

Wisconsin's Supreme Court has agreed to allow the state to continue using a computer program to help judges determine how criminal defendants should be sentenced. The court ruled that the computer program COMPAS was appropriately used in the case of a man who is serving six years in prison for driving a stolen vehicle and fleeing from police. The justices unanimously upheld the decision of the state's lower courts.
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Device Behind Ear Could Ease Pain of Drug Withdrawal
IndyStar, (06/22/2016), Shari Rudavsky

An Indiana company has developed a device that could ease detox for people addicted to opiates. The Neuro-Stim System Bridge sits behind the ear and sends electrical feedback to the brain, blocking the pain of detox. A person wears the device for five days before turning to long-term assistance such as counseling and medication-assisted treatment. One organization using the device for patients is the Union County Opiate Treatment Center.
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Naloxone to Be Immediately Distributed to Released Inmates in Ontario
The Globe and Mail, (07/04/2016), Karen Howlett and Jane Taber

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins has ordered that the opioid antidote naloxone be distributed to newly released inmates at high risk of overdosing. Hoskins instructed officials in the Ministry of Health to expand the province's naloxone program for public-health units to include inmates.
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Newly Released Inmates Account for 1 in 10 Fatal ODs
HealthDay News, (07/13/2016)

Almost 10 percent of fatal adult drug overdoses may involve recently released prison inmates, a new Canadian study suggests. The study examined overdose mortality rates by matching incarceration records with coroner reports after release, according to study author Dr. Nav Persaud of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Also, the study found that the risk for a fatal overdose among inmates is highest immediately following release. Researchers analyzed data provided by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, which registered the releases of roughly 50,000 inmates between 2006 and 2013. The release dates were then cross-referenced with coroner report information.
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Local Sex Offender Accused of Playing Pokemon With Teen
Greenfield Daily Reporter, (07/14/2016), Daniel Morgan

A registered sex offender in Indiana was arrested after a probation officer spotted him playing Pokemon Go with a 16-year-old boy on the county courthouse lawn, according to authorities. Randy Zuick, 42, of Greenfield, was booked into the Hancock County Jail on July 13. Court records show that Zuick pleaded guilty in April to a charge of child molesting for fondling a child under 14, and remains on sex-offender probation, which prohibits him from interacting with children, court records show.
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Probation Department Replacing 3,000 Ankle Bracelets for Criminals
WCBV5, (07/07/2016)

The Massachusetts probation department is replacing electronic monitoring ankle bracelets whose signals are not working properly. The department opened an after-hours satellite office inside the Quincy Police Department, where people wearing ankle bracelets who are cut off from the system because the devices are not working properly can have their electronic monitoring units fixed or replaced, and avoid an arrest. Thus far, 403 of the 3,000 units have been replaced; the probation department says the rest will all be replaced in the next few months.
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The Fines and Fees That Keep Former Prisoners Poor
The Atlantic, (07/05/2016), Alana Semuels

Jurisdictions across the U.S. are assessing court fines and fees, called legal financial obligations (LFOs), on defendants, requiring them to pay thousands of dollars or face more jail time, according to Alexes Harris, author of A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions for the Poor. She wrote that the LFOs can "reinforce poverty, destabilize community reentry, and relegate impoverished debtors to a lifetime of punishment because their poverty leaves them unable to fulfill expectations of accountability." Interest is sometimes charged as the fees go unpaid, raising the amount owed. Fines and fees vary by state. Fees can include bench-warrant fees, filing-clerk fees, court-appointed attorney fees, crime-lab analysis fees, DNA-database fees, jury fees, and incarceration costs.
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