Science and Technology News

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News


Pelham Police Department Debuts New Drone
Patch, (04/03/2018), Michael Seale
The Pelham Police Department in Alabama has acquired a second drone. The device is equipped with a low-light and thermal imaging camera, and uses will include search and rescue operations, suspect apprehension, and crime scene and traffic crash investigation.
Link to Article


New Distracted Driving Law Proposed; Citations Across Georgia Will Change
WTVM, (04/04/), Chandler Morgan
Legislation passed by Georgia lawmakers would make it easier for law enforcement to cite drivers in Georgia for distracted driving. The legislation, which has gone to the governor for signature, requires hands-free operation of a cell phone, and drivers are not allowed to maneuver a GPS system while driving.
Link to Article


Why Plano Police Officers Are Using Thermal Cameras on Patrol
WFAA, (04/03/2018), Matt Howerton
Police in Plano, Texas, are using thermal cameras attached to spotlights of patrol cars. The cameras connect to an officer's laptop inside the car, and can help police find suspects in the dark. Officers also use the cameras during traffic investigations to determine where skid marks are or if a person applied the brakes before a collision. Weapons used during crimes have also been recovered with the cameras.
Link to Article


Akron Firefighters and Medics Will Start Wearing Ballistic Vests and Helmets
WOIO, (04/05/2018)
Firefighters and medics in Akron, Ohio, are now wearing ballistic-resistant vests and helmets when they are called out to a violent or potentially violent situation. The protective equipment was purchased using a combination of city funds and a grant.
Link to Article


Baltimore County Announces Increased Funding for School Security, Safety
WBAL (04/05/2018), Saliqa A. Khan
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has proposed a budget increase to include more than $8 million for additional school security and mental health resources. The money, included in the annual proposed budget, would be used for 106 additional positions for school counselors, social workers, psychologists, health assistants, bus attendants and police school resource officers.
Link to Article


Maine Law Enforcement Officials Warn of Bad Heroin After Overdoses
Portland Press Herald, (04/55/2018), Dennis Hoey
Maine law enforcement officials are warning of bad batches of heroin after nine overdoses in four counties were reported in one night. Police are assuming the heroin was laced with fentanyl, which is far more powerful than heroin, the Associated Press reported. The AP reported that all of the victims were revived with the overdose antidote Narcan. Law enforcement arrested three people in connection with three heroin overdoses in Washington County.
Link to Article


SPS Considers Adding Metal Detectors, Armed Guards, Cameras at Every Door
Springfield News-Leader, (04/08/2018), Claudette Riley
Metal detectors, bulletproof glass, exterior door alarms, armed security guards, a text tip line and panic buttons are among the ideas to improve safety in public schools in Springfield, Mo. The ideas will be considered as the school district develops a plan to improve safety in the 2018-2019 school year.
Link to Article


Arlington Police Implement New Dispatch Program
Wicked Local Arlington, (04/09/2018)
In Arlington, Mass., all wireless 911 calls dialed within the town's borders will go directly to the Arlington Police Department, rather than to a regional dispatch center. Participation in the state's new Wireless Direct program should shorten public safety response times.
Link to Article


FBI Shares New Tool to Help Police and Public Catch Thieves
KSDK, (04/10/2018), Rachel Menitoff
In the past month, the police department in St. Peters, Mo., has begun using a new software tool made available by the FBI to pause, zoom in and include graphics in surveillance video posted for public viewing. The software allows police to highlight characteristics that may make an individual stand out, such as a tattoo, and has already proved useful in helping identify suspects in several cases.
Link to Article


Corrections News

Missouri Prisons Go Tobacco Free
KY3, (04/04/2018)
Missouri prisons became tobacco free on April 1. The ban is for both offenders and people who work or volunteer in state corrections facilities. The ban includes outdoor areas, as well as inside all buildings and vehicles owned or leased by the department. There will be a designated smoking area for employees and visitors outside the department facilities and buildings. Nicotine Replacement Therapy will be available to employees and offenders.
Link to Article


Inmates Older Than 60 Could Get Parole Under New Plan to Ease Prison Crowding
Greenville News, (07/07/2018), Tim Smith
A bill proposed in the South Carolina state legislature would allow some inmates who are age 60 or older to seek parole once they have served half their sentence. The bill would make a number of significant changes in the areas of sentencing, prison release, and parole and probation supervision.
Link to Article


N.J. Inmates May Soon Be Eligible for State Education Aid
NJ Advance Media, (04/07/2018), Brent Johnson
A bill in the New Jersey state legislature would allow inmates to receive state aid for education courses. About 550 of the state's prisoners take college courses, and the costs are paid through federal Pell Grants and philanthropic funds. Inmates are currently banned from receiving state grants and scholarships.
Link to Article


Locking Out Impaired Driving
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, (03/29/2018)
This article looks at the positive impact that can be attributed to requiring all impaired-driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks. A new study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety concludes that such laws reduce the number of impaired drivers in fatal crashes by 16 percent, and if implemented nationwide, would save 500 lives every year.
Link to Article


New Study Could Aid PA Dept. Of Corrections With Efforts to Combat Recidivism
WESA 90.5, (04/06/2018), Kathleen J. Davis
A new study by the University of Maryland, commissioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, has found that inmates who willingly relocated away from places where they formerly committed crimes were seven percent less likely to be rearrested/reincarcerated. The department is considering offering relocation support through halfway houses as a new policy, although inmates will not be forced to relocate.
Link to Article


A Personalized Approach to Probation Saved Arizona $461 Million
PBS News Hour, (04/07/2018), Melanie Saltzman and Christopher Booker
This transcript presents an in-depth look at several probation and parole cases in Arizona, a state that made drastic changes to its policies and procedures in 2008. In the next eight years, the state saw a 29 percent decrease in probation violations and an accompanying 21 percent decline in arrests of people on probation. The state says it has saved more than $461 million since 2009 due to fewer persons being imprisoned.
Link to Article


Drones Are Dropping Contraband Into Prisons. NC Is Looking for Ways to Stop Them.
News&Observer, (04/05/2018), Elizabeth Anne Brown
A Duke University professor, who is a former Navy fighter pilot and international expert on drones, is working on a system of specialized microphones that would enable North Carolina prison officials to "hear" drones that may possibly be about to drop contraband into correctional facilities. The microphones would be tied into an app that would alert officials of nearby drone flights and enable them to attempt to intercept delivery.
Link to Article


States Move to Ban Fake Urine, a New Challenge for Drug Testing Amid an Abuse Epidemic
Washington Post, (04/07/2018), Katie Zezima
States are moving to enact laws banning fake urine, which is readily available over the Internet and in venues such as truck stops at a cost of approximately $40 or less. Drug users use the substance to try to pass screening exams administered by law enforcement and employers.
Link to Article


Early Childhood Incarceration Is Linked to High Rates of Severe Physical and Mental Health Issues in Adulthood
Medical Xpress, (03/30/2018), Ryan Hatoum
According to a study by UCLA researchers recently published in the International Journal of Prisoner Health, more than 21 percent of individuals incarcerated before the age of 13 reported poor general health in adulthood. In comparison, only 13 percent of persons incarcerated later in life and 8 percent of those never incarcerated reported poor general health. Many countries have begun placing children in alternative rehabilitation programs and increasing the minimum age at which they can be incarcerated.
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