Science and Technology News

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News



Law Enforcement News

Texas Parks & Wildlife Has Life-Saving Plans for New Drone
Unmanned Aerial, (01/31/2018), Betsy Lillian
The Gear Up for Game Wardens program, which has collected more than $100,000 in private donations to purchase specialized equipment for the game wardens of Texas, recently purchased a search-and-rescue drone that the agency plans to use to help its efforts in hard-to-reach areas. The agency plans to use the UAS to locate missing persons in areas that are less readily accessible by its helicopter.
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Texarkana Police Receive Prescription Drop off Box
TXK Today, (01/31/2018), Field Walsh
The Texarkana Emergency Center has purchased a prescription drug drop-off box to place at the Texarkana Police Department. The goal is to remove unused and unwanted prescription drugs from residents' homes; dropped off prescriptions will be immediately destroyed. The efforts are intended to provide a year-round supplement to the semiannual National Take Back Initiative days.
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State Police Open New 24/7 Non-Emergency Line
KEZI.com, (02/01/2018), Spencer Guimont
The Oregon State Police have launched a new non-emergency line for reporting traffic issues, highway hazards and minor accidents. *OSP (*677) serves as a mobile phone direct call number that motorists can use to request assistance. Emergency calls should continue to go to 911.
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BYU App Now Offers Students 'Virtual Escort' With Campus Police
Fox 13 Salt Lake City, (02/02/2018), Elle Thomas
The Brigham Young University Police Department has added a new feature to its app that allows students to request a "virtual escort" from the agency. The Safewalk feature allows an officer to track a student on request and turns the tracking capability off when the requester turns the feature off.
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County Police Save More Than 1,000 Lives With Narcan
Delaware County New Network, (02/03/2018), Kevin Tustin
Pennsylvania 's Delaware County has earned the unique distinction of having its law enforcement officers save more than 1,000 lives using Narcan since the introduction of its use in November 2014. Narcan is used to reverse opioid overdoses. In total, commonwealth law enforce officers have performed 6,456 reversals since the 2014 passage of David's Law.
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Hoping to Blunt Opioid Deaths, 'Naloxone for Life' Is Equipping Colorado First Responders
Colorado Public Radio, (02/06/2018), John Daley
A program called Naloxone for Life is placing the life-saving rescue drug naloxone with law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado, and officers have used the anti- overdose drug to save 320 lives in less than two years. Trainers have distributed 7,500 kits to 158 agencies; the Colorado Attorney General's Office is providing funding.
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Wisconsin Allowing Hidden Cameras to Capture Elder Abuse and Neglect
WBAY.com, (02/06/2018), Aisha Morales
Eastern Wisconsin has a new program called the Safe Seniors Camera Program wherein the state is providing cameras and memory cards to law enforcement agencies. Anyone who suspects a loved one is being mistreated by a caregiver who comes into a home may borrow a camera and card for up to 30 days to document events. Citizens should save the recordings and report wrongdoing to the police.
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Danville Police Using 'Driver Feedback' Sign to Curb Speeding
Fox 59, (02/06/2018), Nick McGill
The Danville (Ind.) Metropolitan Police Department has a modern take on the standard "Your Speed Is...," sign, with a new Digital Driver Feedback sign that uses emojis to indicate whether a driver is within the legal limit. The department also plans to use data from the sign to analyze traffic patterns to help plan targeted speed enforcement tactics.
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Schools Plugged Into Emergency Radio System
LaPorte County Herald-Argus, (02/06/2018), Jon Gard
Schools in LaPorte County, Ind., have received new radios that, with a touch of a button, automatically connect them to 911 dispatch and to every first responder within radio range. The radios replace an outdated and unused panic button system, and are part of an overall upgrade of county communications. The system is the only one of its kind in use in the state.
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Corrections News

Sheriff's Department Adjusts Rules After Finding Drugs in Packages
The Republic, (02/02/2018), Julie McClure
Because of an increasing amount of contraband, the Bartholomew County (Ind.) Sheriff's Office will no longer allow mail on colored paper or envelopes, including cards and postcards. Mail written in crayon, colored pencils and markers is also banned, along with scented, stained or discolored correspondence. Stamps will be removed and a full name and return address are required for delivery.
Link to Article


Keeping Drugs Out of Jail Is a Never-ending Challenge
Journal & Courier, (02/02/2018), Ron Wilkens
Three officers working at the Tippecanoe County (Ind.) jail recently required treatment with naloxone after exposure to an unknown substance. An inmate also required treatment, although it is not known whether he was the source of the drug exposure. Sheriff Barry Richard has suspended in-person visits for trusty inmates, and is looking into additional ways to combat the introduction of contraband.
Link to Article


Gaston County Solution to Drugs in Jail Blocked
WSOCTV.com, (02/05/2018), Ken Lemon
In the first 13 days of January, staff encountered 13 incidents involving drug use in the Gaston County (N.C.) Jail. The county commissioners have budgeted funds to purchase a full-body scanner, but state health officials have rejected the request. Although the scanners are used elsewhere in the country, there are none in use in North Carolina.
Link to Article


Deputies Patrolling Outside SC Prisons to Stop Contraband
WCNC, (02/01/2018), Billie Jean Shaw
South Carolina corrections administrators have begun hiring off-duty deputies to patrol near facility perimeters in an attempt to stop the smuggling of contraband cell phones. In 2018, 800 contraband phones were confiscated at the Broad River facility alone. Deputies from Lee, Dorchester and Richland counties are participating.
Link to Article


In New York, All 51,000 State Prisoners Will Get Their Own Tablet Computers
CNN, (02/01/2018), Ellie Kaufman
JPay, provider of various technology-related inmate services, has entered into a contract to provide all New York State inmates with tablet computers. Individuals can use the devices to communicate with loved ones and take classes, but will not be able to access the Internet or social media.
Link to Article


Hammond Police Link Murder Suspect to Armed Robbery Through Court's Ankle Monitor
NWI.com, (02/01/2018), Steve Garrison
A man released with an ankle monitor while awaiting trial for an East Chicago murder allegedly committed an armed robbery in Hammond during December 2017. The robbery suspect had initially left the scene in a vehicle and then further fled on foot after he crashed the vehicle, which was registered to Cadarrow E. Patten-White. Records from the monitoring device placed Patten-White in the vicinity of the robbery.
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Inmate Admits to Murder in Facebook Live From Prison Cell
CBS Sacramento, (02/01/2018)
An inmate in an Atlanta, Ga., federal corrections facility admitted to committing a murder during a nearly one-hour Facebook Live session apparently conducted with a contraband cell phone. Joseph Fletcher, from Akron, is serving a 39-month sentence on weapons charges, and claims to have committed a murder for which another man has been charged.
Link to Article


Drugs, 1,046 Cellphones Seized at Fort Dix Federal Prison
The Trentonian, (01/30/2018), David Foster
Staff at Fort Dix Correctional Institution in New Jersey recently discovered more than 1,000 cellphones along with synthetic marijuana, tobacco and liquor in the basement of one of the facility's buildings. The contraband was located outside the secure area of the prison and it appeared that inmates had secretly gained access to the area. Ft. Dix is a low-security prison.
Link to Article


After Reforming Criminal Justice, Alaska Has Second Thoughts
Governing the States and Localities, (February 2018), Alan Greenblatt
Going against a nationwide trend, the Alaska state legislature has rolled back provisions in a 2016 law revising and reducing sentencing policies; the legislature has also increased penalties for minor felonies. Opponents of the changes argue that the law wasn't given time to work.
Link to Article


Stab-resistant Shirts, Body Alarms. Prisons Gear Up to Defend Against Inmate Attacks.
Charlotte Observer, (01/25/2018), Gavin Off and Ames Alexander
In the wake of the deaths of four corrections officers, North Carolina has announced plans to purchase stab-resistant undershirts, personal body alarms, batons, upgraded fencing and more. The state will also implement policies to hire and retain more officers; in the average month, the state hires 147 officers and loses 150.
Link to Article


For Some Prisoners on the Cusp of Freedom, Virtual Reality Readies Them for Release
Colorado Public Radio, (01/31/2018), Meredith Turk
In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a sentence of life without possibility of parole for juveniles constituted cruel and unusual punishment, and in 2016, Colorado passed a law making some adults sentenced as juveniles eligible for resentencing. To qualify, inmates must have spent a minimum of 20 years behind bars and successfully complete a three-year reentry program. Part of this program uses virtual reality to teach these inmates adult life skills such as doing laundry and using a debit card.
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