Science and Technology News

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Education Service District 105 Use of Technology Has Found New Ways to Keep Schools Safe
KIMA, (05/18/2017), Gustavo Olguin
Washington State Education District 105 in Yakima has put together a School Safety Operations & Coordination Center (SSOC) that the local sheriff has likened to having a second dispatch center. Staff use an advanced security system to monitor any emergency responses near local schools and initiate action as needed. The Center can also monitor social media at administrator request and uses the Inpointe mobile app to keep in contact with local law enforcement.
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Deputy, Two EMS Providers Treated for Overdose Symptoms Responding to Call
Baltimore Sun, (05/23/2017), Andrea K. McDaniels and Erika Butler
After responding to a drug overdose in the Baltimore suburb of Abingdon, a Harford County deputy and two paramedics needed treatment for potential exposure to heroin and fentanyl recently. The deputy required treatment with Narcan, and the two paramedics needed less extensive intervention.
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National Blue Alert Network for Police Will Borrow Concept From AMBER Alerts, (05/18/2017)
The Community Oriented Policing Services Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will jointly administer a new National Blue Alert Network, a nationwide communications system that will quickly circulate information on potentially threatening situations for law enforcement officers. The Federal Communications Commission will act as a third partner in the effort. Like AMBER Alerts, Blue Alerts will quickly spread information to law enforcement, media outlets and the public on the possible whereabouts, physical descriptions, vehicle information and other characteristics of people suspected of attacking law enforcement officers.
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Manitowoc Scanners Go Quiet With Encryption
Herald Times-Reporter, (05/21/2017), Alisa M. Schafer
In Wisconsin, the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department, Manitowoc Police Department and Two Rivers Police Department have switched to exclusively using encrypted radio channels. Local departments say the change was made to promote officer safety, as residents can no longer use scanners to listen in on police calls.
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Prince George's County Police Department to Expand Aviation Section
AirMed&Rescue Magazine, (05/22/2017)
The Prince George's County (Md.) Police Department has added a third helicopter to its aviation fleet. According to the manufacturer, the department is the first to fly a 450-shp Rolls-Royce 250-C20R/2-powered MD520N with a new Block 1 all-glass cockpit. The new helicopter will become operational in the second quarter of 2018.
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New Training Video Aimed at Helping Officers Respond to Opioid Overdoses, (05/22/2017), Norman K. Styer
On May 22, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring and Loudon County Sheriff Mike Chapman jointly introduced deputies to a new training video on opiate addiction, including how to recognize and respond to overdoses. Loudon County Sheriff's deputies have used Narcan to treat overdose victims 13 times since they received initial training in its use in December 2015. Administrators and officers from other nearby jurisdictions also attended the video's debut. In 2016, for the fourth straight year, more Virginians died from overdoses (1,400) than died in vehicle accidents.
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Corrections News

Three Arizona State Prisons Plan to Add Employment Centers to Help Soon-to-be Released Inmates Find Jobs
HavasuNews, (05/17/2017), Jenna Aronson
Inside three state prisons, the Arizona Department of Economic Security has partnered with the Arizona Department of Corrections to launch an employment program staffed by employment specialists from ARIZONA@WORK to help inmates find employers who are willing to hire them despite their backgrounds. A pilot program in the Mesa and Tucson parole offices led to the centers in the Tucson, Lewis and Perryville correctional facilities.
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Hundreds of Missouri Sex Offenders Now Required to Wear GPS Monitoring Devices for Life
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, (05/17/2017), Jesse Bogan
A revision to the Missouri state criminal code that took effect on Jan. 1, 2017, requires individuals who were convicted of 13 specified sex crimes based on actions that took place on or after Aug. 28, 2006, to wear GPS monitoring devices for life – even after they have completed serving their sentences. Several individuals are suing the state for imposing the retroactive sanctions.
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Washington Prisoners Get Chance to Pursue 2-Year Degrees
Campus Dispatch, (05/17/2017), Dian Schaffhauser
A new Washington State law will open doors for programs that offer a state-funded associate's degree and certificate instruction to qualified individuals among the 18,000 inmates in state correctional facilities. Previously, inmates only had access to one-year vocational certificates and privately funded academic degree programs. Research shows that inmates who receive such education are 43 percent less likely to recidivate and 13 percent more likely to become employed.
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Why You Should Care That Prisoners Have Access to Higher Ed
Independent Voter Network, (05/22/2017), Danika McClure
A number of new higher education programs, many provided by leaders in the education field, are becoming available to teach inmates career-building skills such as keeping up with technology, real-world knowledge and soft skills needed in today's job market. Studies show that inmates who have access to educational opportunities while incarcerated are less likely to become repeat offenders on release and more likely to find meaningful employment.
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Empty Guard Towers Helped Atwater Prison Inmate Escape, Union Official Claims
Merced Sun-Star, (05/18/2017), Monica Velez
The first-ever escape of an inmate from the maximum security side of U.S Penitentiary Atwater might not have taken place if guards still staffed the prison towers, a local representative of the prison guards' union has said. The towers have gone unstaffed since 2011 due to budget cuts. Guaymar Cabrera-Hernandez escaped Friday, May 19, and was found several miles away along a nearby road a day later.
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Stopping the Revolving Prison Door
MIT News, (05/10/2017)
J-PAL North America, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Economics, is conducting randomized evaluations of several prisoner reintegration policies and programs, with a goal of helping policymakers direct funding and other efforts to successful initiatives. Research has shown that such programs are key in efforts to prevent recidivism and help former inmates succeed in reintegrating into society.
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South Dakota Becomes First State to Offer Online Clemency Application
KSFY, (05/16/2017), Erika Leigh
The office of South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has announced that individuals may now apply for a pardon using a new online system. There is no charge to submit an application at, although fees to obtain court documents and assessments do apply. The system alerts users to missing items in the application, which eliminates issues with the state's needing to process incomplete submissions.
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9 Investigation Uncovers Prisoners Using Facebook Live While Locked Up, (05/22/2017)
The results of an investigation that showed numerous prisoners using Facebook Live, including posting videos of fights and weapons, have been turned over to the executive director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. In one 40-minute posting, a convicted murderer appears to roam around a facility at will, and in the fight video, no guards appear to try to get the situation under control. The use of contraband cell phones by inmates is a problem in South Carolina and across the nation.
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