Science and Technology News

Friday, February 16, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

State Awards Emergency Radio Funding
The Daily Gazette, (02/07/2018), Stephen Williams
Counties across New York are receiving grants to develop a county-to-county inter-agency emergency radio communications system. The grants will be used for equipment to allow emergency communications centers to easily communicate with centers in other counties, and for equipment to improve communications between dispatch centers and first responders in the field. Grant amounts range from about $1.3 million to $430,000.
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Department Gets Grant for New Computers
Times Daily, (02/08/2018), Jennifer Edwards
The police department in Muscle Shoals, Ala., will use a $24,000 grant to buy 12 laptop computers for use in police vehicles, and use another $24,000 in capital funds to outfit the second half of the fleet with laptops. The new laptops can connect with the department's computer-aided dispatch system, and allow officers to run driver's license and car tag reports in the vehicle.
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Law Enforcement Agencies Launch Heroin Task Force
City Newspaper, (02/08/2018), Jeremy Moule
A task force in Monroe County, N.Y., is targeting heroin dealers. The Medical Examiner's Office confirmed 169 opioid overdose deaths in the county in 2016; so far this year, 112 overdoses have been reported, 17 of which were fatal. Working with the Monroe County Crime Analysis Center, the task force will collect data about heroin overdoses and route intelligence to local agencies in the hopes of building strong cases against heroin dealers.
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Anne Arundel's 911 System Sees $2.2M Overhaul
The Baltimore Sun, (02/09/2018), Phil Davis
Maryland's Anne Arundel County has installed a new 911 dispatch system to reduce response times and offer geo-location tracking of emergency service vehicles. The $2.2 million system is used by police and fire departments and replaces a 20-year-old dispatch system.
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New Equipment Will Assist Preston Law Enforcement
The Dominion Post, (02/10/2018), Jeniffer Graham
The Preston Sheriff's Department in West Virginia is outfitting 23 vehicles with new front and back view cameras using money from a $65,000 Homeland Security grant. In addition, new software will provide officers with real-time visual information through computers.
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911 Is Able to Receive Texts
Salina Post, (02/13/2018)
The Salina Police Department's Emergency Communications Center's 911 equipment is now able to receive 911 texts from a cell phone. Sending a text to 911 instead of calling could be a lifesaving option for people in situations where they can't speak safely, such as being in close proximity of a perpetrator. It could also benefit people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have difficulty speaking.
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City, County 911 Dispatchers Now Will Provide Life-Saving Instructions to Callers
Mansfield News Journal, (02/12/2018), Lou Whitmire
Emergency communications personnel at the Public Service Communications Center in Mansfield, Ohio, can now provide medical information and pre-arrival instructions over the phone to 911 callers. Personnel have obtained certification as emergency medical dispatchers, who can determine the nature and priority of the call by narrowing down the caller's type of medical or trauma situation by asking a series of short questions. Dispatchers will then dispatch the appropriate response resources and provide the caller with life-saving instructions to help treat the patient until responding emergency medical service personnel arrives.
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Corrections News

Proactive Probation: Magic Valley Probation Officers Try New Approach, (02/08/2018), Gretel Kauffman
Some probation and parole officers in Idaho are using motivational interviewing techniques in an effort to foster changes in long-term behavior among offenders. This communications method focuses on building intrinsic motivation through self-reflection, rather than external pressures.
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Camp Becomes First Refunded Money in 'Better Life' Program
Daily Mountain Eagle, (02/11/2018), Ed Howell
A man from Sumiton, Ala., has become the first participant in the Better Life Program to get half the money back that he paid into the drug rehabilitation program. The man, Michael Camp, will donate $500 back to the program and $500 to his church. Camp has been drug free for five years. He received a check for $2,217 from the Walker County Drug Court.
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In-Person Visits With Jailed Parents Are a Child's Right
HuffPost, (02/09/2018), Virginia Casper
This opinion piece, written by a developmental psychologist, discusses why video visits should not replace in-person visits between incarcerated mothers and their children.
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Corrections, Congress 'Encouraged' by Prison Phones Meeting
The Press of Atlantic City, (02/08/2018), Meg Kinnard for the Associated Press
Corrections officials and members of Congress say they're hopeful a recent meeting with wireless industry representatives will lead to a solution that combats security issues posed by inmates with cellphones. The Federal Communications Commission hosted the meeting in Washington, D.C., in an effort to facilitate a conversation among law enforcement, prison officials and wireless providers.
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SF Sheriff Wipes Out Electronic Monitoring, Community Service Fees for Convicts
San Francisco Chronicle, (02/06/2018), Evan Sernoffsky
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department will no longer force people convicted of crimes to pay fees for electronic monitoring and community service. Sheriff Vicki Hennessy said electronic monitoring had cost offenders $125 to sign up and up to $39 a day when they were placed on supervised release. In the work alternative program, people were charged $100 to sign up and $20 a day to participate. Hennessy announced the decision on the same day that Board of Supervisors President London Breed introduced legislation to wipe out a slate of fees that can cost offenders thousands of dollars.
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Virtual Visitation Allows Loved Ones to See Inmates Without Stepping Into a Jail/Prison, (02/06/2018), Raychel Vendetti
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has three virtual visitation sites for people to use computers to visit with inmates. Visitation rooms are quiet and private. Officials plan to expand the program.
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Feds: Child-Porn Network Operated in Fort Dix Prison
USA Today, (02/05/2019), Jim Walsh
Men sent to a New Jersey prison for child-pornography crimes allegedly used contraband cellphones to access child pornography in prison. In a criminal complaint, a federal investigator said the inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix stored images and videos of child sex abuse on Internet-based cloud accounts and on small digital cards that can be inserted into a smart phone. The affidavit filed in federal court also notes that 1,522 illegal phones were confiscated in 2016 at the prison, up from 652 a year earlier.
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Why 'Girl Develop It' Prison Program Launched in Delaware
Technically Delaware, (02/05/2018), Holly Quinn
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit that hosts software training courses for women. In December 2017, the organization began teaching code to inmates at Baylor Women's Correctional Institution in New Castle, Del. The three-week pilot course schooled nine inmates and three correctional officers in web basics, HTML and CSS, and included a project where students built their own websites in WordPress, which was specially adapted for Baylor's no-Internet classroom.
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Expanding Use of Electronic Bracelets Would Have Come at Price: Review
Winnipeg Sun, (02/09/2018), Joyanne Pursaga
Manitoba has ended pilot programs that used electronic ankle bracelets to monitor some convicted auto thieves and domestic violence offenders. A review of the programs had recommended ending both programs rather than expanding them. Officials said cost and effectiveness contributed to the government's decision to end the programs.
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