Science and Technology News

Friday, November 25, 2016

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

MU College of Education Receives Grant to Study Principal Training
Columbia Tribune, (11/14/2016)

The National Institute of Justice has awarded the Missouri Prevention Center and University of Missouri College of Education a $4.1 million grant to study a training program for school principals to deter bullying. The grant will support the Safe and Civil Schools Leadership program, which teaches principals and teachers to collect and use data and develop programs to make schools safer. Researchers will study the program in 60 middle and high schools in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.
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NCCo Launches 'Panic Button' App for Local Agencies, Businesses
The News Journal, (11/15/2016), Brittany Horn

A new 911 communication system in New Castle County in Delaware integrates a panic button, live camera feeds and an automatic 911 call through a free smartphone app. Schools, malls, hospitals and other institutions can download the Rave Panic Button app and register their building and employees, and provide information to emergency responders at the scene. To report an emergency, a user can press the button most relating to their situation, prompting a call to 911 and notification to employees and agencies that need to respond.
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Burglars Beware: High-Tech, Crime-Fighting Liquid is 'Invisible and Silent Witness' to Theft
The Washington Post, (11/16/2016), Lynh Bui

Law enforcement agencies are using liquid technology designed to link criminals to stolen goods and crime scenes. The Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland is among the latest law enforcement agencies to begin using SmartWater, a traceable liquid that people can apply to their belongings and that is detectable only by using UV light. Each bottle of the product contains a unique forensic code that is registered to the owner. Law enforcement can send a sample of the dried SmartWater scraped off an item to a lab in Florida, where technicians will trace the owner. The UK-based company said that the product is used in more than 30 cities across the United States.
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Fort Worth to Get $350,000 Gift to Buy Body Armor for Police
Star-Telegram, (11/16/2016), Sandra Baker

The Fort Worth Police Department will use a $355,000 donation from a real estate developer to buy 900 advanced ballistic-resistant vests that offer better protection from rifle shots. Also, the Protect the Fort group has committed to raise an additional $250,000 to buy 900 advanced ballistic helmets.
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Manhattan DA Reveals $10 Million Lab Dedicated to Fighting Cybercrime
New York Daily News, (11/17/2016), Ellen Moynihan Reuven Blau

New York City has a new $10 million cybercrime lab. The 17,000-square-foot facility in Manhattan will have more than 75 full-time staffers, including assistant district attorneys assigned to a specialized investigative bureau focused on cybercrime and identity theft.
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$218K Awarded to Hudson County Police Departments for Body Armor
The Jersey Journal, (11/17/2016), Ron Zeitlinger

Three Hudson County, N.J., law enforcement agencies have been awarded a total of $64,000 to purchase body armor. Through the state Division of Criminal Justice's Body Armor Replacement Fund, the Hudson County jail will receive nearly $36,000, the county sheriff's office will receive nearly $20,000 and the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office will get $8,300.
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Mental Health Training Increases in Law Enforcement Academy
News-Press Now, (11/14/2016), Megan Favignano

Law enforcement academy programs have increased their emphasis on mental health. About 2 million jail bookings each year involve a person with mental illness, according to a Vera Institute of Justice 2015 report. The National Alliance on Mental Health's analysis shows in many cases law enforcement agencies have become de facto first responders to individuals having a mental health crisis. Kip Wilson, interim director for the Regional Law Enforcement Academy at Missouri Western, said law enforcement academies also have added training specific to the mental health of officers. Cadets go through stress courses, which include situations they may encounter as an officer.
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Real-Time Crime Mapping by Springfield Police Called 'Next Evolution' in Policing
MASSLive, (11/21/2016), Patrick Johnson

The Springfield (Mass.) Police Department has new software that allows officers to see real-time maps of crimes in the city. The CrimeView Dashboard software allows an officer on a sector patrol to view on a mobile laptop a map showing recent incidents of all types of reported crime, and it helps supervisors decide where to deploy officers.
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Corrections News

Nevada Prisons Change Policies on Discipline, Mental Health Treatment
Las Vegas Sun, (11/15/2016), Cy Ryan

The Nevada Department of Corrections is taking steps to better prepare inmates for their eventual release. Prison inmates who commit infractions will spend less time in segregation and possibly receive treatment to help control anger. Inmates with mental health issues will be transferred to the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, where better treatment facilities are available.
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On Heels of Justice Reform, Utah Prisons Have Seen Populations Decline
The Salt Lake Tribune, (11/15/2016), Robert Gehrke

Changes in how Utah punishes drug offenders have contributed to a significant drop in the number of people incarcerated. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative was designed in 2014 to increase the number of drug offenders in treatment. Before the initiative was enacted, officials projected that the prison population through the first six months of the year was on pace to reach 7,498, and then was expected to be held to 6,674 after the initiative. However, currently the number is 6,371, which is 15 percent below the projections before the reforms passed. Drug possession is now considered a Class A misdemeanor rather than a felony, meaning more offenders are getting steered into treatment programs rather than put in prison.
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Nevada Receives $978K Federal Grant to Reduce Recidivism
Las Vegas Review Journal, (11/16/2016), Andra Chereb

Nevada will use a $978,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to reduce recidivism among male inmates convicted of property crimes and drug offenses. The program will target property crime offenders between the ages of 18 and 55 who are assessed as moderate to very high risk of reoffending, and where substance abuse was a factor in the crime. Inmates serving sentences for drug crimes are also included. The plan includes enhanced case management for supervising released inmates with an emphasis on public safety, offender accountability and community programs.
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Pennsylvania Corrections Officers Get Final OK to Carry Pepper Spray
ABC27News, (11/21/2016), Myles Snyder

The governor of Pennsylvania has approved legislation allowing corrections officers in state prisons to carry pepper spray. The bill signed by Gov. Tom Wolf requires the state Department of Corrections to issue canisters of oleoresin capsicum aerosol to officers working in medium- and high-security state prisons. The bill becomes law in 60 days. Supporters say pepper spray can deter prison assaults and protect corrections officers, but only a few officers had been allowed to carry it.
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Oklahoma Department of Corrections Wants $800,000,000 to Build Two New Prisons
KFORTV, (11/21/2016), Sheldra Brigham

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections wants $800,000,000 to build two new prisons. Officials said existing facilities are old, outdated and overcrowded, and limit the use of technology. Critics of the plan said a better use of state funds is to support programs to keep people out of prison. But state officials said the number of inmates is expected to continue to rise, and having the extra space of two new prisons is imperative to public safety.
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