Science and Technology News

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

New Drug Kits Save Police Dogs From Opioid Overdoses
Associated Press, (06/01/2017), Denise Lavoie
Police departments have begun carrying naloxone on drug raids to protect their K-9 partners from ill effects of sniffing out drugs such as fentanyl, a painkiller that is often mixed with heroin. Naloxone has long been used to reverse human opioid overdoses. Massachusetts State Police started carrying naloxone for their K-9s in March, and police in Hartford, Conn., started in January. Police said a small amount of powdered fentanyl can sicken police officers, so dogs are even more at risk. For both humans and dogs, naloxone can be administered through an injection or a nasal spray.
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Drone Leads to Fugitive's Arrest in Stafford Co. Manhunt
WTOP, (06/02/2017), Neal Augenstein
Sheriff's deputies in Stafford County, Va., used a drone to help locate a wanted fugitive during a manhunt after the man allegedly fired several gunshots into a parked car. A police drone spotted the suspect, who had a parole violation, walking near power lines, along a tree line. A SWAT team took him into custody; he was charged with being in possession of a firearm as a felon, and reckless handling of a firearm.
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Deputy Was Shot 5 Times, But Survived Because of a Bulletproof Vest, Sheriff Says
Desert Sun, (06/02/2017), Sherry Barkas and Anna Rumer
A sheriff's deputy survived a May 25 shooting that occurred as he chased a documented gang member through a field thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest, according to Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff. Deputy David Solis sustained injuries to his left arm and hand in addition to the upper-body shot stopped by the vest. Solis has been discharged from the hospital, but the future of his career remains in doubt because he is left-handed. The suspect, Gildardo Davila Jr., was apprehended in Mexico a week later.
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APD Launches Mobile App
KOB-TV, (06/02/2017)
The Albuquerque Police Department has a new smartphone app to allow people to use cellphones to file police reports, submit crime tips and receive alerts. Users can also get real-time crime mapping, stay up to date on wanted suspects and learn about the department's community events. The app does not replace 911, which people should always use for emergencies.
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Corrections News

Prisons Put New Limits on Inmate Visits to Help Stamp Out Drugs, (05/30/2017), Rebecca Beitsch for Tribune News Service
Limits on mail and hugs from visitors are among the steps states are taking to try to keep drugs, particularly opioids, out of prisons. New Hampshire banned inmates and their visitors from hugging for more than 3 seconds, banned kissing between inmates and visitors, and removed board games and vending machine food from visiting rooms. States across the country are placing new limits on what kind of mail inmates can receive. Suboxone, an addiction treatment drug, is of particular concern because its thin strips, designed to be placed under the tongue, are easily hidden.
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New Hampshire's Prisons Could Soon See Full-Body Scanners
Concord Monitor, (06/01/2017), Alyssa Dandrea
New Hampshire legislators have changed the requirements for who will be subject to full body scans at the state's prisons. State prison facilities received approval last year to install full-body scanners to thwart the flow of contraband, but have not installed them. Under the original law, anyone entering the state's three prisons would have been required to walk through the scanners. New legislation passed by the state legislature and sent to the governor provides greater specificity on who should be scanned. For example, rather than scanning every visitor, officials say they will require inmates leaving the visiting room to walk through a full-body scanner before returning to their cells.
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Flipbooks Help Prisoners Stay Connected to Their Loved Ones
NPR, (05/29/2017)
Rules limiting inmate access to the Internet and cameras can make it difficult for families to share videos with incarcerated loved ones. Some families are using flipbooks to stay connected with inmates by using a small company in Colorado that changes videos into flipbooks. Company founder Liza Tudor wrote her own software that breaks video into frames and lays it out on a contact sheet. She prints the images out, tears the paper along perforations and stacks them by number. She sends the printout in an envelope, and prisoners assemble the books themselves.
Link to Article

Delaware Prison Riot Review Faults Management
SFGate, 06/02/2017), Randall Chase for the Associated Press
An independent review ordered by Delaware's governor after a deadly inmate riot in February describes the state's maximum-security prison as dangerously overcrowded, critically understaffed, and poorly run and managed. According to a preliminary report, prison workers consider communication to be the top problem at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. The report portrays stressed-out correctional officers as not knowing what is expected of them and a disconnect between shift supervisors and upper management. Delaware State Police still are conducting a criminal investigation into the uprising, during which a correctional officer was killed.
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No Nonsense DUI Intervention Program Helps Keep Drunken Drivers Off the Streets
KETV, (06/04/2017)
The 24/7 Sobriety Program in Douglas County, Neb., has helped 600 people in the past three years. Under the program, offenders report twice a day for in-person testing. If a person has a difficult work schedule, a SCRAM alcohol-monitoring bracelet is an option instead of the in-person testing. Judges have the option of assigning repeat DUI offenders to the program as a condition of bail. The program's compliance rate has stayed above 99 percent for both breath testing and SCRAM testing over the past three years. If a person fails the alcohol test, they are put in handcuffs and retested 15 minutes later. If there is still alcohol detected, they will go straight to jail.
Link to Article

Jail Inmates Access to Tablets Decreases Bad Behavior
KVOA, (05/26/2017)
Inmates at the Pima County jail are using electronic tablets. The inmates do not have internet access; they access a server onsite that contains content the jail allows, and use of the tablets is monitored. According to Capt. Sean Stewart, since inmates began using the tablets, inmate suicide attempts, inmate assaults on staff and assaults on other inmates have all decreased.
Link to Article

Blood Gang Leader Used Prison Cellphone to Order Hit on Prosecutor's Father
The Charlotte Observer, (05/31/2017), Elizabeth Leland and Gavin Off
This article examines the scope of the problem of contraband such as cellphones in North Carolina prisons and how the phones compromise safety. Since 2012, police have charged more than 50 N.C. employees with smuggling contraband into prisons.
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