Science and Technology News

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News


Law Enforcement News

Maine Police Start Selfie Hashtag to Drum Up Support
News & Observer, (4/20/2018), Associated Press
The #SelfieWithACop hashtag campaign started by the South Portland (Maine) Police Department has a goal of promoting a partnership between law enforcement and the local community. Residents are urged to take a selfie with an officer and submit it to the department, which will post it on its Facebook page.
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Houston Police, ATF to Unveil New Crime-fighting Tool
Click 2 Houston, (04/19/2018), Aaron Barker
Houston has become the third city in the nation to begin using a new tool from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that processes gun-crime evidence in hours instead of days. The department has a new van that will be used to collect and compare evidence against the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. Houston will be the first department in which its own officers, using ATF training, will process the evidence.
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Cleveland to Upgrade Street Lights, Post Security Cameras to Bolster Neighborhood Safety
Cleveland.com, (04/20/2018), Robert Higgs
Cleveland plans to convert its 61,000 street lights to a remote-controlled LED system that provides more illumination, visibility and clarity. Law enforcement will be able to brighten the lights in an emergency situation and the city camera system, mounted on the same poles, will give police real-time access to surveillance video.
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Local School Installs Active Shooter Alert System
News4SA.com, (04/24/2018), Zack Hedrick
St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio recently installed a new rapid alert response system that automatically alerts law enforcement when anyone pulls the fire alarm. The system immediately uses telephone, text and email to send alerts to campus staff and local law enforcement dispatch. The alert gives officers access to a campus map and real-time access to security cameras.
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Corrections News

54 Percent of Surveyed Inmates in Colorado Had Serious Brain Injuries. This Program Aims to Keep Them From Returning to Crime.
The Denver Post, (04/13/2018), Jennifer Brown
Researchers have screened 4,100 people in jail, on probation or assigned to drug courts in Denver and five other Colorado counties, and found that 54 percent had a history of serious brain injury, a rate 46 percentage points higher than that of the general population. The results are being used to develop targeted re-entry programs that can help individuals overcome the cognitive impairments caused by the injuries.
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Eye Spy a Sex Offender: Jeffco Sheriff's Office Touts Use of Iris Scans in Fighting Crime
AL.com, (04/19/2018), Carol Robinson
Nine months ago, the Jefferson County (Ala.) Sheriff's Office became the first in the state to begin using the Inmate Recognition & Identification System (IRIS) to register and verify the identity of all of the county's convicted sex offenders as well as to quickly and accurately identify inmates. Slightly less than 200 law enforcement agencies nationwide use the system, which stores the scans in a nationwide database.
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Telecomm Expert Lists Ways to Block Cell Phone Signals Inside Prisons
News4, (04/18/2018), Anne Emerson
In this article, a telecommunications expert discusses several technology solutions that could stop cell phone signals inside correctional facilities. Officials have blamed, at least in part, a recent riot at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina on disruptions caused by contraband cell phones.
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Community Corrections Officers Become Narcan-certified
Cape Gazette, (04/05/2018)
Community corrections officers from the Delaware Department of Correction recently received naloxone training, learning how to recognize the symptoms of an overdose and how to administer the life-saving drug when they suspect an overdose. All participating officers received certification and supplies of the drug.
Link to Article


FBI Sting Uncovers Bomb Plot, Drug-smuggling Operation in SC Prison
The State, (04/20/2018), John Monk
An eight-month FBI sting operation involving 40 agents and two Cessna surveillance airplanes led to charges against a South Carolina inmate involving use of an illegal cellphone to get on the Dark Web, run a drug ring and plot a murder by mail bomb. These details and more are coming out in testimony this week in the trial of accomplices from outside the institution who allegedly took part in the plot.
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Wireless Industry to Blame for Contraband Cellphones, According to Former SC Prisons Chief
Anderson Independent Mail, (04/20/2018), Kirk Brown
Jon Ozmint, director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections from 2003 to 2011, has stated that the wireless industry and mobile phone companies share the blame for the recent riot at the state's Lee Correctional Institution. Inmates can use contraband cell phones to continue illegal activities from inside prison, and Ozmint has contended that the industry has done nothing to block calls originating inside correctional facilities.
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Nebraska Urged to Prepare More Inmates for Parole to Ease Overcrowding
Omaha World-Herald, (04/05/2018), Paul Hammel
As Nebraska seeks to ease overcrowding in its state correctional facilities, more than 1,000 inmates who are eligible for parole have not yet completed required rehabilitation programs. Inmates contend they can't get into the necessary programs and state officials say many inmates refuse to attend classes. The state is looking into allowing some of those inmates to complete programs after, instead of prior to, release.
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After Fatal Escape, Pottawattamie County Jail Adds Full-body Scanner to Protect Staff, inmates
Omaha World-Herald, (04/18/2018), Mike Bell
The Pottawattamie County Jail in Iowa has begun using a full-body scanner, similar to the ones used in airports, to detect contraband. The jail will use the scanner on all new inmates at intake as well as on all inmates transported to and from the building. The facility is the first jail in the state to implement use of the technology.
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