Science and Technology News

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Tourniquets, Training to Turn Bystanders Into First Responders During Mass Shootings
Emergency Management, (10/04/2017), Paul Sisson for the San Diego Tribune
A movement that includes the American Trauma Society is advocating to place containers of bandages and tourniquets in place where the public can use them to provide assistance in case of a mass casualty event. Proposed legislation in California would place these kits next to all public AEDs, and the state of Georgia plans to place bleeding control kits in all public schools.
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Maryland State Police Welcomes New Cadaver Dog
WBALTV, (10/05/2017), Jennifer Franciotti
The Maryland State Police have received a trained cadaver dog from the FBI, and Skye has already assisted the agency in solving a case in her first two weeks of work. MSP also has a bomb detection dog, but this is the first cadaver dog to assist the agency in two decades.
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New Sexual Assault Kit Tracker Would Let Victims "Be Their Own Best Advocate"
Michigan NPR, (10/4/2017), Cheyna Roth
New tracking software put into use by the state of Michigan will allow victims to track the status of their sexual assault kits, potentially helping to eliminate a backlog of untested kits. The software tracks the kits' progress through the system and sends out an alert if a kit remains in one place too long.
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Courts News

Police Train in Active Shooter Simulation at Hampden County Courthouse, (10/0y/2017), Sy Becker
Officers in Springfield, Mass., recently conducted an active shooter simulation in the Hampden County Courthouse. The agency selected the courthouse as the drill site because it is usually filled with large numbers of unarmed individuals, yet officer presence is light.
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Corrections News

VERIFY: Do Prisons Have Control Over Their Own Airspace?
WZZM, (10/6/2017), David Bailey
A recent incident involving several drones spotted around the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility near Ionia, Mich., is one of several times recently that drones have presented a problem for the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Department of Corrections. The Federal Aviation Administration, which controls the airspace has not established no-fly zones over prisons in the state, which means licensed UAS operators can free fly over facilities.
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Ramsey County Denied Deaf Man Access to Technology to Communicate With Family, Suit Alleges
Star Tribune, (10/02/2017), Chao Xiong
A deaf man formerly held in the jail in Ramsey County, Minn., has filed a lawsuit claiming he was not allowed to use a teletypewriter to communicate with his family and friends, although hearing inmates could use telephones for similar purposes. The man was told use of the TTY was limited to legal calls only.
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Alabama Tells Federal Court It Will Double Mental Health Staff in Prisons, (10/10/2017), Mike Cason
Lawyers for the Alabama Department of Corrections have submitted a plan to a U.S. District judge that will double the number of mental health staff in the state's prisons. The proposal adds approximately 125 mental health staff at a cost of about $10 million per year, and it is intended to address a recent ruling from a federal judge that mental health care in the state is inadequate.
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Tablets Replace Lawyer, Paralegal for South Dakota Inmates
NewsCenterOne, (10/09/2017)
Officials with the South Dakota Department of Corrections have dispensed with giving inmates access to a paralegal located onsite and a part-time lawyer because the tablet computers recently issued to inmates allow them to access an electronic legal library. Defense lawyers in the state have likened the move to replacing medical staff with medical manuals.
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Arkansas Prisoners Capture Moments after Two Guards Are Attacked
Arkansas, (10/04/2017), Mitch McCoy
Inmate-provided footage shows corrections officers bursting into a cell after inmates attacked two guards. According to the inmate who provided the footage, inmates attacked the guards as part of an ongoing feud, although Arkansas Department of Corrections officials dispute the inmate's account of what happened. Officials also note that possession of a cellphone by a prisoner is a criminal offense.
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Could Body Scanners End the Opioid Crisis in Jails?
IndyStar (10/14/2017), Vic Ryckaert
Individuals dealing with opioid addiction often swallow drug-filled balloons or stuff them into body cavities when faced with the prospect of incarceration; these actions alone sometimes result in death, in addition to the potential for overdose when the drugs are retrieved and used. Many jails have begun using TSA-style body scanners to help combat smuggling. Faced with budget shortfalls and staff cutbacks, the jail in Marion County, Ind., is one of those facilities considering their use.
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Fox 46 Investigates: Does the Electronic Monitoring Program Work?
Fox 46, (10/03/2017), Robin Kanady
This pieces looks at the use of electronic monitoring devices, or "ankle bracelets," in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg area. Although officials say the program is successful for the most part, there are failures, one of which is described in detail.
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How NYC and Missouri Are Reforming Juvenile Justice — Without Razor Wire Fences
Miami Herald, (10/10/2017), Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch
This article takes an in-depth look at juvenile justice in New York State, which began successful reform efforts in 2007. Those efforts have resulted in more youth being housed in home-like settings near the neighborhoods in which they live. The community-based alternatives program also includes an extensive aftercare component to help youths' lower their risk of reoffending. Counseling and treatment are emphasized over traditional incarceration whenever feasible.
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