Science and Technology News

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Davenport Police Release Educational Video to Fight Vehicle Thefts
KWQCTV6, (05/04/2017)
A rash of vehicle thefts, thought to be the work of juveniles, has prompted the Davenport (Iowa) Police Department to release an educational video telling residents what to look out for to help combat the thefts. The video profiling the department's "Lock It Up" initiative is meant to be shared on social media.
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Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff's Office Joins Private-Sector Partnership
Government Technology, (05/08/2017), David Chanen
Minnesota's Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has become the 10th law enforcement agency in the country to start its own Shield program, a public-private information-sharing partnership that is modeled after, and an affiliate member of, the NYPD Shield. Businesses can apply via website to join; the Mall of America is already on board.
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Texas Police Department Implements Distance Measuring Radar Device to Catch Close Passers
Cycling Weekly, (05/09/2017), Jeffrey Stern
The Houston Police Department recently began using a C3FT device on all patrol bicycles that will allow officers to ensure that vehicles keep to the minimum 3-foot distance when passing cyclists. The new technology will help officers enforce the city's 2013 Safe Passing/Vulnerable Road User Ordinance.
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Corrections News

TCSO Detention Officers Utilizing New Stab Resistant Body Armor
Tifton Gazette, (05/03/2017), Eve Guevara
Officers in Georgia's Tift County Jail now have stab-resistant body armor to wear for protection during their shifts. Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough said that more than 100 homemade weapons have been confiscated from inmates in the past five years, during which six corrections officers have been attacked.
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2 Accused of Trying to Fly Drones at SC Prison
WMAR2 Baltimore, (05/04/2017), Meg Kinnard for the Associated Press
In South Carolina, two men have been arrested for attempting to smuggle contraband materials into the medium-security Kershaw Correctional Institution. The suspects were carrying knives, marijuana and cell phones when they were arrested after a police chase.
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Cut the Potentially Deadly Prison Cell Phone Connection
Post and Courier, (05/05/217), Robert Johnson
The author of this opinion piece, a former corrections captain who was left with permanent disabilities after an assassination attempt in his home that he believes was orchestrated with a contraband cell phone, explains why he believes correctional facilities should be given the authority to jam cell phone signals. He also emphasizes the need for a multifaceted approach to stopping the smuggling of contraband phones.
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Licking Jail Scans Find Drugs, Bullets and Babies
Newark Advocate, (05/05/2017), Bethany Bruner
The scanner at the Licking County Justice Center in Newark, Ohio, has been used 2,400 times since it began operation on Nov. 7. In addition to expected finds of contraband to include drugs, the scans have turned up several unusual items and have detected potential pregnancies in several female inmates.
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The Factory Where Prisoners Get a Second Chance
CNN Money, (05/08/2017), Parija Kavilanz
Dan Meyer, owner of Nehemiah Manufacturing in Cincinnati, which makes household and personal products, has made it a mission to hire individuals with criminal records who otherwise have difficulty finding employment. The business has 110 employees, and approximately 60 have criminal records. Its three facilities are located in some of the poorest sections of the city.
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Delaware County Sheriff's Department Looks to Buy Full Body Scanner to Combat Drug Problem Inside Jail
WTTV, (05/08/2017)
So far in 2017, the Delaware County Jail in Indiana has had 18 drug-related incidents, including several overdoses. In order to combat the problem, the sheriff's department has asked the county commissioners to purchase a $200,000 full body scanner, similar to the ones used in airports.
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Spike in Mentally Ill LA Jail Inmates Leads to New Policies
ABC News, (04/29/2017), Michael Balsamo for the Associated Press
Over the past seven years, the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles has seen a 50-percent increase in its population, and nearly 30 percent of inmates deal with some kind of mental illness. The Los Angeles County Sheriff blames the increase on meth use, while medical experts say it's often difficult to tell whether the abuse causes the mental illness, or the drug use comes from attempts to self-medicate. The department has added additional training to help deputies cope with inmates who have mental health and substance abuse issues.
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Technology Has Already Created Innovative Solutions for Our Bloated Jail Populations, We Just Have to Implement Them
Washington Examiner, (05/03/2017), Arthur Rizer and John Haggerty
Attempts to greatly reduce swelling jail populations in turn create challenges for parole and pretrial release officers in the form of larger caseloads, but new smartphone apps and jail management technologies could make dealing with those caseloads easier. Implementing these technologies, which are described in detail in this article, could also post significant cost savings compared to keeping low-risk individuals locked up.
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Federal Prison Inmates Used Dark Web, Cellphones to Swap Child Porn
NBC News, (04/26/2017), Tracy Connor
Inmates at the low security federal prison in Ft. Dix, N.J., used contraband cellphones and the Dark Web to share child pornography images, according to recently released court documents. Five inmates, one of whom is secretly helping with the investigation, have been charged in connection with the network.
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