Science and Technology News

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

Digital Forensics Rescues Retro Video Games and Software
Imperial Valley News, (09/13/2016), Richard Press
The National Software Reference Library (NSRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., contains the largest collection in the world of software titles in numerous versions, which can serve as a forensic tool for law enforcement and national security investigators. Every file has a unique hash, or "digital fingerprint," and investigators can use these markers to quickly locate evidence on computers and hard drives seized as evidence.
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Dutch Police Unleash Drone-hunting Eagles and Buy Some Chicks
Geek, (09/13/2016), Jordan Minor
After a successful pilot program, Dutch police have begun using drone-hunting eagles around airports and other sensitive space. The eagles have been trained to see the drones as prey, and they are paired with Dutch police officers who will target the drone operators and collect the seized drones when the eagles land.
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2 Officers Shot While Answering Call in Fort Worth
Standard-Times, (09/16/2016)
A Ft. Worth police officer survived a shooting on September 16 thanks to his ballistic-resistant body armor. Two officers responded to a call about an apparent suicide and after finding an unresponsive man, went to a nearby shed in search of a witness. A suspect opened fire from inside the shed and wounded both officers.  Both are expected to survive.
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Learning to Apply a Tourniquet Stressed as Active Shooter Events Increase
Lincoln Journal-Star, (09/19/2016), Nancy Hicks
Because many of the victims in mass casualty events bleed to death before medical assistance arrives, law enforcement officers are learning new first aid and trauma treatment techniques that may help save lives. As part of this growing trend, police cruisers and fire and rescue vehicles in Lincoln, Neb., are now equipped with new trauma kits and some 300 officers have received training in the use of combat application tourniquets, which require only one hand to apply. Link to Article


Philadelphia Gunman, 'Driven by Hatred,' Ambushed Officer, Then Went on Deadly Rampage
Washington Post, (09/18/2016), Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
A Philadelphia police sergeant survived an ambush attack on the evening of September 17, when two of the shots fired by an assailant apparently motivated by anger at the police lodged in her ballistic-resistant vest. Sgt. Sylvia Young did sustain non-life-threatening injuries to her arm during an 18-shot barrage of gunfire; the gunman went on to shoot six other people, including one woman who died from her injuries.
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The Story Behind the Smartphone Terror Alert in NYC
CNNMoney, (09/19/2016), Seth Fiegerman
In the wake of the explosion that rocked Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood on September 17, officials used cell towers to send an emergency alert about the wanted suspect to the smartphones of everyone in the New York City area. The New York City police commissioner praised the system as the wave of the future; however, some members of the public criticized the idea.
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New Haven Considers Giving Cops Cell Phones so Residents Have Instant Access
New Haven Register, (09/18/2016), Juliemar Ortiz
The mayor of New Haven has announced a plan to put cellphones in the hands of all walking beat and patrol officers, a goal aimed at improving community policing and making officers more accessible. However, the plan is still in preliminary stages and in the meantime, many officers give out their personal cellphones to residents on their beats.
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Corrections News

Q&A: Trends in Green Design
Correctional News, (09/12/2016), Lindsey Coulter
This article presents a question-and-answer session with two industry experts about the green technologies that provide the best return on investment for correctional facilities, the best up-and-coming technologies, and how facilities could better adapt the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process.
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Ohio Schools Add ID Scanners to Recognize Visitors on Sex Offender List
Government Technology, (09/14/2016), Bill Bush for the Columbus Dispatch
Many schools in Franklin County, Ohio, now require all visitors to show a government-issued photo ID before they will be admitted. The ID is scanned into a device that checks the person against a national sex offenders' database before printing out a visitors' sticker. However, one local school has discontinued the practice due to too many false positives generated by similar names.
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Daviess County Jail Installs New Body Scanner to Detect Contraband
WKU, (09/15/2016), Rhonda Miller
The jail in Kentucky's Daviess County has a new state-of-the-art body scanner for use in detecting contraband. Similar to those used at airports, the machine uses DruGuard technology to make two scans from different angles to help detect hidden items.
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Norway Proves That Treating Prison Inmates as Human Beings Actually Works
WorldPost, (08/03/2016), Baz Dreisinger
In a modified excerpt from Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, a 2016 non-fiction release, this piece presents a profile of Bastoy Prison in Norway, considered a worldwide model for open prisons.
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California Wants to Stop County Jails From Banning Visitors
Quartz, (09/18/2016), Hanna Kozlowska
A bill that requires all county jails to allow inmates to have in-person visits with friends and family has passed the California legislature and now needs Governor Jerry Brown's signature, which is due by September 30. Many jails and prisons across the country have implemented policies allowing video visitation only as a cost-cutting and security measure, but this policy may contribute to feelings of inmate isolation and eventual recidivism.
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SC Prisons to Get Cell Phone Finder Technology
News13, (09/16/2016), Robert Kittle
The South Carolina Department of Corrections plans to begin using cell phone signal triangulation technology to help locate contraband cell phones within correctional facilities. The state plans to begin implementation in prisons where the most dangerous inmates are located, at an initial cost of just over $1 million. The technology has proven successful in another state that already uses it.
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Parents of Woman Killed by Estranged Husband Question Use of Electronic Ankle Monitor
WPXI.com, (09/14/2016)
The parents of a West Finley, Pa., woman who was killed by her husband after he removed an electronic ankle monitor want to know why a violent offender was fitted with the device and released into the general population. The Washington County program is intended for monitoring alcohol use, and it is unclear why the judge in this case placed Kevin Ewing in the program in spite of a request by the District Attorney's office.
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More Ohio Inmates Caught Smuggling Cellphones
Dayton Daily News, (09/18/2016), Laura A. Bischoff
In a three-year span between 2011 and 2014, contraband seizures by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction increased 222 percent for cell phones, 173 percent for tobacco, 109 percent for drugs and alcohol, and 10.8 percent for weapons. Inmates come up with increasingly creative ways to smuggle contraband, which can mean lots of money if sold behind prison walls.
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D.C. Mayor Cites Rape Case in Pushing to Close GPS Loophole
Washington Post, (09/15/2016), Aaron C. Davis and Amy Brittain
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has stated that she plans to make it a priority to propose a law that makes it a crime for offenders to tamper with their GPS monitoring devices. Bowser cited the case of Antwon Pitt, who was found with a disabled device but incurred no penalty. Several days later, Pitt raped and beat a woman in her home. The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in 2014 that penalties applied only to criminals explicitly required to wear GPS devices by judges or the U.S. Parole Commission; however, the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency monitors convicts in the District, including those wearing GPS devices. The Pitt case has served as an impetus for re-examining the issue.
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Proper Hand Protection to Prevent Infection
Corrections.com, (09/19/2016), Vicky Adams
Protection from infectious disease can present a major challenge for correctional facilities. The two best preventive methods are frequent handwashing, using proper handwashing techniques, and wearing gloves when the situation requires it. This articles takes an in-depth look at how to properly wash hands and at the various types of gloves available.
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