Science and Technology News

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

More Cameras on Outside of School Buses Due to Vehicles Passing Them Illegally, (08/19/2016), Mitti Hicks

The Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department is in the process of mounting some 1,200 school bus cameras, one on each vehicle in the district. The rollout will take a total of four years; surveys have shown that approximately 1,200 drivers pass buses illegally in the county every school day.
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FWPD Tries New Crime-mapping Tool to Get Ahead of Trends
WFAA, (08/19/2016), Lauren Zakalik

The Omega Crime View Dashboard, a crime mapping tool updated twice daily, is helping officers from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Police Department access information on crime trends that previously could take up to two weeks to reach the field. Using information from this new database is allowing the department to adjust staffing as needed.
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LPD Officers Undergo Simulation Firearms Training
Sentinel-Echo, (08/22/2016), Kelly McKinney

Using a "shoot/don't shoot" training simulator on loan from the Kentucky League of Cities, the London Police Department has put all of its officers through simulated firearms training over a period of several weeks. The department requires its officers to take a similar training course annually, but conducted the training on its own for the first time in 2016 thanks to the loaner equipment.
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Corrections News
"It's Like a Baptismal": Prison Tattoo Removal Gives Ex-offenders a Chance at a New Life
Quartz, (08/20/2016), Renuka Rayasam

Research has indicated that inmates with tattoos have more rapid recidivism rates than those without, perhaps an indication that potential employers judge individuals based on their gang-related and other tattoos. Several jurisdictions have started programs to offer free tattoo removal to ex-inmates and soon-to-be ex-inmates in an attempt to cut down on reoffending. There are more than 200 free and low-cost tattoo removal programs in 37 states.
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British Police Intercept Drones Flying Drugs, Cell Phones Into London Prison
Business Standard, (08/23/2016)

A drone crashed and another was intercepted by an officer as they attempted to fly contraband cell phones and illegal drugs into a prison north of London. Metropolitan Police are looking for anyone with information about the events, which took place on August 12 and 14 near London's Pentonville Jail.
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The Bexar County Jail Will Soon Only Do Video Visitation
San Antonio Current, (08/16/2016), Mark Reagan

In Bexar County, N.M., a new policy of video-only visitation at the Bexar County Jail goes into effect September 1. The program, at an annual cost of $760,000, will allow individuals to speak to persons in the jail via a live link connected to housing pods. Requests for face-to-face visitation will be considered on a per-case basis.
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Task Force Calls for 'Significantly Smaller' Youth Correctional Facilities
ABC8News, (08/5/2016), Kerri O'Brien

Juvenile offenders should be detained in smaller facilities closer to their homes, where their parents can be involved in their lives, according to recommendations from a Virginia state task force. A just-released interim report states that juvenile facilities should provide a therapeutic environment rather than simply confining individuals.
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Probable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Sample of Urban Jail Detainees
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, (08/11/2016), Dawn Ruzich et al.

This article looks at the occurrence and prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in urban jail settings, and presents the results of a study undertaken to fill the gap in knowledge and understanding of probable PTSD among jail detainees. Participants in this study were clients in the Integrated Multistage Program of Assessment and Comprehensive Treatment (IMPACT), a short-term, jail-based program that provides intensive substance abuse treatment and other services to male detainees.
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Georgia Prisons: Gangs, Rising Violence, Thousands of Cellphones
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, (08/22/2016), Rhonda Cook

Facilities without air conditioning, contraband cell phones and gang prevalence all have contributed to recent violent incidents in Georgia correctional facilities, where two inmates have been killed in the past two weeks. This article explores the situation, which is chronic and ongoing, in depth.
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Advancing Tech Keeps Inmates, Officers Safe
McPherson Sentinel, (08/22/2016), Cheyenne Derksen Schroeder

This article profiles the McPherson County Jail, the services it offers to its inmates, steps it takes to keep the facility safe and how technological innovations play a role in those efforts. Administrators note the facility can keep up with the times due to strong support from county government.
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No Way to Call Home: Incarcerated Deaf People Are Locked in a Prison Inside a Prison
Truthout, (08/22/2016), Mike Ludwig

This article explores the circumstances affecting deaf and hard-of-hearing prisoners' ability to communicate, including looking at successful programs established in some facilities and the barriers that others put in place to block existing programs and services. It highlights that the needs of this community are little understood and often ignored.
Link to Article

Probation Now Handles Post-release Supervision
Ashland Gazette, (08/18/2016), Sam Farmer

The Nebraska State Legislature has adopted LB605, which implements the use of probation for people convicted of low-level offenses and ensures post-release supervision focusing on transitioning ex-offenders back into the community. This includes assistance with living arrangements, job placement and substance abuse treatment. This article examines the potential impact at the local level.
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In U.S. Jails, a Constitutional Clash Over Air Conditioning
New York Times, (08/15/2016), Alan Blinder

Judges across the country have ruled that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution forbids incarceration in decidedly hot or cold temperatures, but corrections reform activists continue to encounter resistance to implementing air conditioning in facilities. Many facilities in the South lack air conditioning, but some state officials have stated it amounts to coddling prisoners or refuse to comment on why facilities remain uncooled.
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The Justice Department Says It's Unconstitutional to Jail People Who Can't Afford Bail
Business Insider, (08/22/2016), Marie Solis

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a document to a federal appeals court in Georgia to argue that it is unconstitutional to incarcerate someone who cannot afford bail. The document states the practice goes against the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law.
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