Science and Technology News

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Smartphone App Launched to Help Solve Arson and Explosive Incidents
KKTV 11, (06/22/2017), Khloe Keeler
Following a successful pilot program, the Colorado Springs Police Department has implemented full-time use of the Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS). Defined as "Facebook for bomb technicians," BATS allows officers to put in information about an explosion or arson case and share it with other agencies nationwide.
Link to Article

Zombie Apocalypse Simulation Helps Bike Cops Train for Crowds
Bicycling, (06/22/2017), Molly Hurford
To combat low volunteer turnout for past training events, the International Police Mountain Bike Association staged a zombie apocalypse for a recent team-training event held in Delaware, Ohio. Some 40 officers from 25 different agencies took part in the event, which drew a much larger number of volunteers than in the past and allowed officers to improve their crowd control skills.
Link to Article

Local Officials Walk in the Shoes of Dementia Sufferers
Eagle-Tribute, (06/22/2017), Allison DeAnglis
Law enforcement officers, public safety professionals and elected officials in Salem, N.H., participated in "A Walk in Their Shoes" training on June 21, World Alzheimer's Day, to introduce greater empathy for dementia suffers. Participants tried to find objects in a purse or unlock a door while wearing popcorn kernels in their shoes to simulate neuropathy and using special glasses to introduce visual impairment. At the same time, headphones played the voices of many people speaking simultaneously.
Link to Article

Union Files Complaint Over Nebraska State Troopers' Out-of-Warranty Bulletproof Vests
Omaha World-Herald, (06/24/2017), Paul Hammel
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has ordered a review of the State Patrol's policies and leadership following the filing of a complaint by the State Law Enforcement Bargaining Council regarding state troopers' wearing ballistic-resistant vests that are out of warranty. Wearing the out-of-date vests exposes the officers to greater danger on the job and also exposes the state to increased liability in the event of an incident involving the armor.
Link to Article

Why This Police Department Now Needs to Carry Narcan for Dogs, (06/25/2017), Amanda Hoover
Officers in New Jersey's Bergen Township now carry auto-injectable naloxone for use in canines believed to be suffering from opioid exposure. This type of naloxone is believed to be more effective in K9s than the nasal spray commonly used for humans. Dogs can be exposed to the deadly drugs both through their paw pads and through their noses.
Link to Article

In a Heartbeat: More Police Officers Are Carrying AEDs
The Municipal, (05/18/2017), Julie Young
This article looks at the benefits that can be obtained by having police officers carry AEDs in their patrol cars. Although there is expense involved in obtaining the equipment, the value of the lives saved can far outweigh the cost, according to the author.
Link to Article

Courts News

Courtroom Renovation Modernizes Historic Courthouse
Press-Citizen, (06/22/2017), Stephen Gruber-Miller
An extensive renovation project to a courtroom in Johnson County, Iowa, has restored and retained much of the 116-year-old structure's historic appearance while at the same time bringing in 21st century technology, such as state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and Internet access. The courthouse also recently beefed up its security with more staff and a walk-through metal detector to secure the main entrance.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Keaton: Suits for Success Gives Former Prisoners New Start in Life
Chicago Tribune, (06/22/2017), Susan Keaton for the Naperville Sun
Suits for Success has provided some 1,500 suits to correctional facilities in Illinois to be given to just-released former inmates. The nonprofit group collects both cleaned, pressed, unclaimed clothing from dry cleaners and other gently used clothing, which formerly incarcerated persons can wear for job interviews. Recidivism rates decline greatly among individuals who find employment after their release.
Link to Article

Wyoming Prisons Use Unique Education Program to Improve Inmate Literacy
Star-Tribune, (06/25/2017), Seth Klamann
Some dozen instructors trained by the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education of Orton-Gillingham have implemented a literacy program in five Wyoming correctional facilities aimed at teaching inmates to read phonetically. Designed in the 1930s for use by children with dyslexia, the system breaks words down into their component parts for easier comprehension, rather than relying on memorization. Improving inmate literacy could increase individuals' chances of finding employment on release.
Link to Article

Coming to the Anchorage Jail: Nature Imagery to Stave Off Sensory Deprivation in Solitary Inmates
Alaska Dispatch News, (06/25/2017), Michelle Theriault Boots
Inmates held in solitary confinement in the Anchorage Jail will soon be able to schedule time in a "green room" where they can watch nature videos. Inmates in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day alone in their cells, with no sensory stimulation, no access to television or DVDs and only limited access to reading material. The goal is to make solitary confinement less psychologically damaging.
Link to Article

US Supreme Court Strikes Down NC Sex Offender Social Media Ban
The News & Observer, (06/19/2017), Anne Blythe
A challenge by a registered sex offender in North Carolina has led to the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning a state law that prohibited registered sex offenders from accessing any social media sites that can be joined by minors. Lester Gerard Parkingham Jr. created a Facebook page under an assumed name and was charged by Durham police under the law. The question in the case centered on whether the law prohibited individuals from participating in a type of media that has become a key part of society.
Link to Article

Exclusive: Empty Guard Towers Allowed Carjacker to Escape Maximum Security Prison
USA Today, (06/23/2017), Kevin Johnson
A six-year-old policy to not staff guard towers at the Atwater Penitentiary in California played a key role in allowing a recent prisoner escape. Although a correctional officer created a video reenactment of how convicted carjacker Guaymar Cabrera Hernandez managed to scale a fence unseen, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has not changed its policy. Hernandez was subsequently recaptured.
Link to Article

Topeka Man Took Part in Robbery While Wearing GPS Monitoring Device, (06/26/2017)
A Topeka man has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a commercial robbery while wearing a monitoring device. Christopher Allen Bush admitted that he drove a getaway vehicle during a convenience store robbery. Bush was wearing the device post-release on convictions for aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
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