Science and Technology News

Friday, May 4, 2018

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Tulsa Police Facebook Page Begins 'Behind the Badge' Series, (04/26/2018)
The Tulsa Police Department has launched a new Facebook series called "Behind the Badge" to provide the public a behind-the-scene view of operations within the department. The first video in the series gives viewers a look at the department's forensics lab.
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Grant Will Help LA Clear DNA Testing Backlog
Courthouse News Service, (04/25/2018), Martin Macias, Jr.
The Los Angeles Police Department will use a $1 million federal grant to clear a backlog of more than 500 investigations awaiting DNA testing results. The grant from the National Institute of Justice will be used for salaries, travel for training workshops, equipment and other costs at LAPD's Forensic Science Division and Serology/DNA Unit, according to city officials.
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Madison Police to Get Body-Worn Cameras and Phase Them in This Year
WHNT, (04/25/2018), Kristen Conner
The police department in Madison, Ala., will purchase 63 body-worn cameras. The department will phase in the cameras, with a goal of having them all operational by Sept. 1. The plan is to equip school resource officers and then the traffic unit, before moving on to the rest of the force.
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Newark 'Virtual Police' Initiative Will Allow Residents to View Police Cameras
WABC TV, (04/26/2018), Anthony Johnson
Newark, N.J., has launched the "Citizen Virtual Patrol" program to encourage citizens to aid police during investigations and deter criminal activity. Under the program, 62 surveillance cameras will be installed around the city. Anyone will be able to log onto the Newark Police Department's website and view the surveillance cameras.
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State Police Training the Next Generation of Bomb Sniffing Dogs
Fox61, (04/26/2018), Aisha Mbowe
The Connecticut State Police recently hosted 25 K9 teams for a two-day training session as part of the Regional Explosives Detection Dog Initiative. The dogs are given real-world scenarios in order to evaluate their skills. The initiative also allows for researchers to understand what new tools and resources are needed to better understand and train the dogs.
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Corrections News

California's Prisons Have New Simulation Software
Government Technology, (04/26/2018), Kayla Nick-Kearney for Techwire
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation now has a Multiple Interactive Learning Objective simulator in every adult institution to help train custodial and noncustodial officers. The simulator focuses on techniques for communication and de-escalation of threats or potentially violent interactions.
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Analysis: Pa.'s Rate for Probation or Parole Supervision 3rd Highest in U.S.
Pittsburg Post-Gazette, (04/29/2018), Samantha Melamed,
This article cites a study that indicates Pennsylvania has the highest rate of citizens under probation or parole supervision in the Northeast United States and the third highest in the country, and explores the reasons why.
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Inmates With Cellphones Are a Problem in SC Prisons. Is This the Solution?
The State, (04/26/2018), Bristow Marchant
Technology is being installed at the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina to thwart use of cellphones by inmates. Maryland-based Tecore Networks is installing managed access technology that will stop unauthorized devices from making calls, sending texts or connecting to the Internet, without jamming all cell activity in and around the maximum security prison.
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Arkansas Prisons Going Green, Saving Money
Times Record, (04/28/2018), Seth Blomeley for Arkansas Nonprofit News Network
State prisons and other state entities in Arkansas are taking steps to improve conservation of resources and cut costs. Entegrity Energy Partners LLC of Little Rock in 2016 was awarded $26.5 million in contracts with the Department of Correction ($17 million) and the Department of Community Correction ($9.5 million) that promise to save the state at least that much in energy costs over 20 years. A state law allows agencies to treat utility savings as revenue that can be used to pay off capital improvement bonds as long as qualified energy efficiency firms are chosen for the work.
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New App Aims to Keep the Poor Out of Pre-Trial Jail
The Christian Science Monitor, (04/07/2018), Sarah Mahoney for Thompson-Reuters Foundation
A phone app aims to secure the release of poor people awaiting trial or sentencing through remote monitoring. Users receive reminders about court appearance dates and documents required. The Promise app is aimed at people who cannot afford bail. Promise assesses a defendant's needs, then develops individual care plans, downloaded to their phones, which monitor and support them.
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Solitary Confinement Policies at 'Tipping Point' in U.S., say Reformers
The Crime Report, (04/27/2018), Nancy Bilyeau
This article highlights discussion about solitary confinement during a recent conference involving researchers, medical experts and reform advocates.
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Opioid Epidemic Seeps Into Missouri Prisons
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, (04/30/2018), Jesse Bogan
This article discusses drug use in Missouri prisons and efforts to stem the availability of drugs, including crackdowns on visits and mail. Nearly nine of every 10 offenders who arrive at prison need substance use treatment. The Missouri prison system has about 36,000 inmates.
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Is There Such a Thing as "Good" Prison Design?
Architectural Digest, (04/30/2018) Rachel Slade
This article examines the challenges of prison design and efforts to design secure, livable space that fosters rehabilitation. Considerations can include aging in place, mobility issues, design for a large mentally and emotionally challenged population, and growth in demand for health-care services in the correctional environment.
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Connecticut Wants to Spend More, Not Less, on Prison Food
Hartford Courant, (04/26/2018), Susan Haigh for The Associated Press
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed spending more on prison meals, contending that it would save money in the long run by making inmates, many of whom rely on state-funded health care after their release, more healthy inside prison and out. The plan would boost the typical daily food budget for each inmate 10 percent, from $2.95 to $3.25.
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