Science and Technology News

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Cops Given Special Gear So They Don't OD During Drug Busts
The Daily Caller, (06/15/2017), Steve Birr
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Police Department recently began to train its officers in the use of special protective gear when responding to a drug scene, although the officers are advised, if possible, to wait for trained crime scene technicians to handle any potential drug-related substance. The department has responded to 62 drug overdose incidents so far in 2017, many of them related to fentanyl.
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Officer Saved by Bulletproof Vest During Armed Home Invasion
WXIA, (06/16/2017), Catherine Park
A Hall County, Ga., sheriff's deputy survived a shot to the torso during a response to a home invasion thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest. The call took place around midnight on June 15, and the officer was treated and released at a nearby hospital. All suspects in the case are in custody.
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App Gives Responders Mental Health Info for Better Decisions
GCN, (06/15/2017), Stephanie Kanowitz
The RideAlong app integrates with the national 911 system to allow law enforcement officers to access information on how best to interact with registered individuals who have a mental illness. Officers can search the system to see if the individual in question is registered; system profiles indicate how to approach and interact with a particular person.
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Law Enforcement Turns to Social Media to Get More Recruits
The Wichita Eagle, (06/20/2017), Stan Finger
Law enforcement agencies throughout Kansas have begun using the power of video to assist with recruiting. The Topeka Police Department has produced a recruiting video that plays in local movie theaters, and the Wichita Police Department is in the process of posting an ongoing weekly series of video clips that follows a recruit class through the training academy in a reality show style format. Other agencies have joined the trend as well as departments continue to have difficulty recruiting new officer candidates.
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Courts News

2 Tenn. Deputies Wounded, Suspect Dead in Courthouse Shooting, (06/20/2017), Rosanna Hughes for the Chattanooga Times/Free Press
Two deputies have been treated for injuries sustained when an inmate took a gun from one of them at the Coffee County, Tenn., courthouse and used it against both men before escaping to the street. Michael Eugene Bell shot himself in the head two blocks away; he was at the courthouse on charges of facing charges for kidnapping, domestic assault and evading arrest.
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Corrections News

Alabama Plans to Supply Prisoners With Tablet Computers, Wi-Fi for Education, Phone Calls, (06/21/2017), Connor Sheets
The Alabama Department of Corrections plans to supply every dorm in all of Alabama's correctional facilities with some 15 to 20 tablets that inmates can use for both secure Internet access for educational purposes and to make phone calls. Alabama had launched a successful pilot program at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in 2015; the program is similar to ones in place in several other states.
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There's No Cheap Talk When It Comes to Prison Calls
HeraldNet, (06/14/2017), Ann E. Marimow for the Washington Post
On June 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, by a 2-1 decision, found that the Federal Communications Commission had exceeded its authority in attempting to regulate and reduce the cost of calls made to prisons from within the same state in which they are located. Although the judges acknowledged that the cost of the calls can be exorbitant, they still found that the FCC had no authority to cap those costs.
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PA Cashes in on Over Crowding in Vermont Prisons
CBS Philly, (06/13/2017), Kristen Johanson
Due to overcrowding in Vermont correctional facilities, nearly 300 long-term Vermont inmates are now lodged at the Camp Hill correctional facility near Harrisburg. Pennsylvania prisons have more than 5,000 empty beds, leading to the long-term housing arrangement with Vermont.
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Inmates Fly Mobile Phones, Drugs and Porn Into Jail — Via Drone
USA Today, (06/15/2017), Waseem Abbasi
An investigation by USA Today staff into U.S. Department of Justice documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show more than a dozen attempts to smuggle items such as cell phones, drugs and pornography into federal prisons over a five-year span. Current technologies are not able to stop incursions by the unmanned aircraft, with state correctional facilities reporting similar attempts.
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Two South Carolina Correctional Officers Injured Taking Cellphone From Inmate in Edgefield
The Post and Courier, (06/15/2017), Maya Prabhu
Two South Carolina state correctional officers sustained non-life threatening injuries incurred when trying to take a contraband cellphone from an inmate at Trenton Correctional Facility in Edgefield. When the officers attempted to take the phone away from one man, they were assaulted by several others.
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Should Correctional Facilities Use Rainwater to Reduce Water Consumption?, (06/19/2017), Klaus Reichardt
This article looks at the feasibility of corrections facilities' collecting rainwater to achieve increased conservation and reduce costs. Factors to consider include local rainfall, cost of installing a system and to what extent the water needs to be treated before it can be used.
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Tennessee Prisons Will Serve as a Guinea Pig for On-Site Cell Phone Forensics
Nashville Public Radio, (06/20/2017), Natasha Senjanovic
Tennessee will soon begin on-site analysis of contraband cell phones confiscated in the state's correctional facilities. Special computers required for the analysis will be installed in all facilities; the hardware will be paid for by a federal grant.
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Data From Electronic Monitoring Helps Greensboro Police Connect Man to Attempted Robbery
Fox 8, (06/13/2017)
Forensic evidence and data points collected from an electronic monitoring device have connected a Greensboro, N.C., resident with an attempted commercial robbery. Adam Parker was wearing the device while on release pending trial on charges of possession of firearm by a felon and felony carrying a concealed weapon.
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Monitoring Bracelet Leads to Robbery Arrest
The News-Gazette, (06/17/2017), Mary Schenk
An Urbana, Ill., man who was wearing an electronic monitoring device while out on bond pending trial on a charge of residential burglary and criminal trespass has been arrested for his possible role in an armed holdup. Surveillance video showed that one of the two men who committed the holdup, later identified as Robert Golden, wore an electronic monitoring device, and data points from Golden's device placed him at the scene of the incident.
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New Model Penal Code for Criminal Sentencing Approved by the American Law Institute: Comprehensive Reform Recommendations for State Legislatures
University of Minnesota, Robina Institute News (06/2017)
This analysis piece takes an in-depth look at the recently approved America Law Institute's Model Penal Code: Sentencing, which revises the 1962 Model Penal Code.
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Back to Business: How Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers Benefits Your Company
American Civil Liberties Union, (06/08/2017)
This new release sends readers to a new report titled Back to Business: How Hiring Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers Benefits Your Company. The report, from the Trone Center for Justice & Equality, looks at how companies can tap into a vast potential workforce (70 million Americans have a criminal record) by hiring the formerly incarcerated.
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Lake County Jail Getting Body Scanner to Deter Drug Smuggling
The News-Herald, (06/14/2017), Andrew Cass
After two inmates in the Lake County, Ohio, jail died from opioid overdoses in December 2015, the sheriff's office requested the purchase of a body scanner to detect drugs being smuggled into the facility, and following a third death in March 2017, the office received permission from the county commissioners to make that purchase. Sheriff Frank Leonbruno says numerous other nearby counties already use the scanning devices.
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