New Releases in the field of Corrections
FCC Votes to Let Prisons More Easily Shut Down Contraband Cellphones
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to ease restrictions against the use of “cellphone interdiction systems” by corrections facilities. The order reduces paperwork and requires cellular carriers to work with the corrections system to block signals. http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/23/15034718/fcc-cellphone-contraband-wireless-vote
Watchtowers in Prisons: A Thing of the Past?
The Illinois Department of Corrections plans to use security cameras in place of watch tower guards at 23 medium- and lower-level prisons. The plan should save the state approximately $4 million. Staff would not face layoffs, but would lose overtime.
W.Va. Inmates Will Receive Photocopies of Mail to Prevent Drug Smuggling
In an attempt to cut down on smuggling synthetic drugs into correctional facilities by coating mail, inmates in West Virginia’s 10 regional jails now receive photocopies of all mail rather than the originals, which are shredded and destroyed. http://www.thenewscenter.tv/content/news/WVa-inmates-will-receive-photocopies-of-mail-to-prevent-drug-smuggling-417032363.html
How Community Paramedics Improve Care, Reduce Costs in Correctional Facilities
In Scott County, Minn., a new program uses the skills of community paramedics to improve and expand health care provided to persons incarcerated in the local jail while also cutting health care costs. A community paramedic receives supplementary training in providing an expanded scope of care, such as extended assessments and exams, under the supervision of a licensed physician. https://www.correctionsone.com/correctional-healthcare/articles/301228187-How-community-paramedics-improve-care-reduce-costs-in-correctional-facilities/
Judge Allows Vocational Nurses to Administer Naloxone in Prisons
A federal judge has granted a waiver requested by California Correctional Health Care Services that will allow licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to administer naloxone in prison settings without first obtaining permission from a doctor. Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose within minutes. Drug overdoses are among the leading causes of death in the state prison system.
2 Mississippi Prisons Searched in Contraband Shakedown
Inmates at two Mississippi correctional facilities face disciplinary action after a predawn search operation on March 16 resulted in the confiscation of homemade alcohol, cell phones, cigarettes and suspected illegal drugs. Searches took place at the Yazoo County Correctional Facility in Yazoo City and the Holmes-Humphreys County Regional Correctional Facility in Lexington.
Plan to Build Prisons Advances in Alabama Legislature
An Alabama state Senate panel has approved a plan to borrow up to $775 million to build three state prisons and renovate existing ones. The bill would allocate $125 million for renovations. Under the plan, most of the existing men’s prisons would close and be consolidated into three larger, regional prisons at sites to be determined. http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/03/plan_to_build_prisons_advances.html
State Grant Would Help Santa Barbara County Keep Mentally Ill Out of Jail
Santa Barbara County has applied for a $3.4 million grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections for a program to promote alternatives to incarceration for the mentally ill. The county is competing with more than 50 other counties in the state for a portion of the $103 million in Proposition 47 funding, which would pay to start a pilot post-arrest diversion and support program in Santa Barbara. http://lompocrecord.com/news/local/state-grant-would-help-santa-barbara-county-keep-mentally-ill/article_e2133460-b2d9-59a8-a1ee-647d8a49a676.html
Connecticut Prison in Cheshire Launches Program to Help Young Males
A pilot program in the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut targets young men in an effort to keep them from becoming repeat offenders. Modeled on a program in Germany, the state Department of Correction’s pilot program is for 70 male inmates between the ages of 18 and 25. http://www.middletownpress.com/article/MI/20170314/NEWS/170319862
Video Visitation Could be Key Point in Relocation of Nevada Inmates
The Nevada Department of Corrections plans to provide video visitation services to inmates being sent out of the state to serve their sentences. The state will soon seek bids to provide housing services to some 200 inmates and Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda wants provision of that service to be included in the request for proposals.
North Carolina Bill Would Make Drone Flight Near Prisons Illegal
The North Carolina House Transportation Committee has approved legislation that would prohibit flying an unmanned aircraft system within 500 feet of a correctional facility located in the state (or up to 250 feet above the location). Attempting to use a UAS to deliver contraband would be a low-grade felony.
State Prison System Launches New Offender Look-up Website
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has implemented an improved offender look-up website featuring more advanced search capabilities. The general public can search the DOC’s database by race, age, conviction and sentence, among other identifiers. The system lists inmates as “active” or “inactive,” but does not give a release date; the state is still working on revising other parts of its tracking system.
Larimer County Jail Adds $200K Airport-Like Body Scanner
The Larimer County Jail in Colorado has a new full-body X-ray scanner. The $200,000 device scans inmates and can reveal contraband such as concealed weapons or drugs. During its first month of use, the scanner led to detection of a lighter, drugs and a radio.
This Drone Crashed Inside a Prison. Under New Bill, Pilot Could Wind Up There, Too.
Legislation introduced in North Carolina would make it a crime to fly a drone over prisons and jails in the state. The bill would prohibit anyone but law enforcement officials from flying drones within 250 feet above or 500 feet around prisons and jails. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article134734954.html
California Corrections CIO Says Everyone Inside Prison Walls Should Get a Tablet
Projects are underway in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to expand controlled digital connectivity in the prison system, give staff and inmates digital devices and replace outdated systems with interoperable tools that can provide new data for analysis.
UMMS Partnering With New England States to Improve Addiction Treatment in Prisons
The University of Massachusetts Medical School is partnering with some corrections departments to improve treatment of substance use disorder among inmates. The collaboration between the medical school and departments of corrections in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and the sheriffs in Middlesex and Barnstable counties in Massachusetts, will address substance use by assessing current screening and treatment practices for opioid addiction, making recommendations for improvements, and implementing proven practices to create a model.
SC Prisons Agency Seeks to Reduce Contraband With Netting
The South Carolina State Fiscal Accountability Authority has approved $113,400 in funding for the design phase of a project designed to reduce the amount of contraband reaching the state’s correctional facilities. The state corrections agency wants to install 50-foot-high poles, mesh designed to withstand up to 160 pounds of force and rope borders with a breaking strength of 5,500 pounds, rising nearly 40 feet higher than existing fencing.
New Twist on File-in-Cake Scheme: Drones Flying Over Prison Walls
As drones become less expensive, they more often become the avenue of choice for individuals intent on smuggling contraband into correctional facilities. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article131423329.html
DOC Requests Nearly $1 Billion for Two New Prisons
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is asking state lawmakers to approve nearly $850 million to build two new prisons.
Lawrence County Jail to Partner With Centerstone to Help Inmates
The Lawrence County Jail in Indiana will participate in a state pilot project to connect offenders with services needed to be successful following release. The Recovery Works Jail ReEntry Program will feature skills development and treatment access. http://www.wbiw.com/local/archive/2017/01/lawrence-county-jail-to-partner-with-centerstone-to-help-inmates.php
Jail Renovation to Eliminate Face-to-Face Visitation
Due to a $250,000 renovation to improve security, inmates in the Spartanburg County jail in South Carolina will communicate with visitors via video monitors. http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170117/jail-renovation-to-eliminate-face-to-face-visitation
CDCR Awards $14.5 Million to Expand Rehabilitative Programs
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the recipients of $14.5 million in grants to boost innovative programs and increase volunteerism in prisons. During this grant cycle, the Innovative Grant Program, which began in 2015, will establish 43 programs at 20 adult institutions. Read more here.
New Screening Tool, Vigilance Lead to Drop in Texas Jail Suicides
Inmate suicides in Texas county jails have sharply declined since the jails began using a new intake form to determine if inmates are suicide risks, along with better follow-up and services. http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article118826053.html
Lower Inmate Population Results in Unit Closures
Connecticut recently closed four units at the Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers due to a drop in crime in the state and fewer inmates. The units once held 400 prisoners. The state is experiencing a drop in crime and a 40 percent decline in the recidivism rate. http://www.thehour.com/local/article/Lower-inmate-population-results-in-unit-closures-10780952.php
Prisons Set to Receive $1.3 Million to Fight Illegal Cell Phone Use
South Carolina plans to operate a $1.3 million system to detect and target illegal cell phone use by inmates in restrictive housing units in four state prisons. It is seen as the best option available to combat illegal phone use, since federal law prohibits cell phone jamming. In 2015, the Department of Corrections reported 1,610 incidents involving cell phones, or their accessories, by inmates.
CDCR Launches Email Notification System for Victims of Violent Crimes
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has launched an email notification service to inform violent crime victims when their offenders are being released from custody. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2016/12/01/cdcr-launches-email-notification-system-for-victims-of-violent-crimes/
Sheriff’s Office Rolls Out Inmate Search Database
The Solano County Sheriff’s Office website has a new search feature to ease access to information about inmates in county detention centers.
Behind the Bars: Phones in SC Prisons Putting Public at Risk
South Carolina Department of Corrections officials say contraband, especially cell phones, is an ongoing problem in every facility in the state in spite of a number of proactive countermeasures. http://wach.com/news/local/behind-the-bars-phones-in-sc-prisons-putting-public-at-risk
Cook County Jail Population Drops With More Electronic Monitoring
The population at the Cook County Jail has dropped below 8,000 for the first time in years due to more detainees being sent home on electronic monitoring, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. The number of detainees at the jail recently fell to 7,999. As of November 4, the jail had 2,207 detainees at home on electronic monitoring.
Drone Makers Asked to Hard Code Prisons As No-Fly Zones
Prison officials in the United Kingdom want drone manufacturers to hard code prison locations into their products to stop attempts to use the devices to deliver contraband to inmates. The unmanned aerial vehicles have been detected in fly-and-drop schemes to deliver mobile phones, weapons and drugs to inmates. A recent report on Prison Safety and Reform says together with vendors, the prison system plans to trial “the inclusion of prison coordinates in no-fly zones” in the hard wiring of the devices.
Dog-Training Program for Inmates Expands in Maryland
A Maryland correctional facility is considering expanding its inmate dog-training program. The Happy Hounds program at the Roxbury Correctional Institute near Hagerstown allows inmates to train rescue dogs from shelters to prepare them for adoption. The current program allows for six to 10 dogs for training purposes.
Use of Force Simulator Demonstrated
The Moraine Park Technical College criminal justice-corrections program recently hosted a use of force simulator demonstration for local corrections and law enforcement agencies. The simulator allows students at the Wisconsin college to respond to real-life crisis scenarios in a simulated, virtual environment. http://www.wiscnews.com/bdc/news/local/article_4ab716dc-3f20-5a37-810b-c592e84b7dd0.html
Putting Telemedicine Behind Bars
Correctional facilities are turning to telemedicine as a cost-effective solution for providing high quality care. In May 2016, New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex began using telemedicine to treat its inmates. Since the initiative began, 52 inmate patients have had virtual checkups and information visits with infectious disease, gastroenterology and urology specialists. The visits allow doctors to spend up to 30 minutes with a patient. Although Rikers’ telemedicine program has started small, the facility has a robust inmate intake program that could help NYC Health & Hospitals quickly ramp up telemedicine visits. Read more here.
Corrections Canada Trying to Stop Inmates From Overdosing on Fentanyl
In the last three years, the synthetic opioid fentanyl has been linked “in some way” to 27 overdoses within the Canada’s federal prisons. Because fentanyl is often disguised as another kind of less-potent opioid, such as oxycodone, officials say inmates sometimes don’t know what they're taking. The correctional service is conducting awareness campaigns for inmates and offering programs to reduce their dependence on drugs, while continuing to try to stop drugs from getting inside through the use of ion scanners and drug detector dogs.
Jails Consider Body Scan Devices to Curtail Contraband
Some Kentucky jails already use low-dose radiation full-body scans to search persons entering the facilities for contraband. Others are considering buying the equipment, as the scanners become more advanced, more compact and less expensive. At a cost of $200,000 each, many jail systems consider the purchase price worth it in terms of the contraband that they stop. Read the story here.
DOC Groping for Alternatives After Ditching X-ray Body Scanners
The Maine Department of Corrections has stopped using transmission X-Ray scanners to detect contraband, following a citation from the Bureau of Labor Standards for "serious" safety violations related to operation of a body scanner at Maine Correctional Center. Corrections officers had voiced concerns about having to operate the scanners, which were more irradiating than the controversial backscatter X-ray systems previously used in airports.
Contraband Drugs in W.Va. Jails Are an Epidemic: State and County Officials
State and county officials agree that contraband drugs are a problem in the state’s jails, but express varying opinions on whether, and how, to address the issue.
Suboxone -- the New Jailhouse Drug of Choice
Large amounts of contraband prescription opiate Suboxone are finding their way into correctional facilities in Massachusetts. A prescription drug intended to help fight opiate addiction, the drug is easy to smuggle because large quantities of the strips fit into very small packages. Read more here.
Report: Probation, Parole Sentences Decrease without Risking Public Safety
Individuals convicted of lower-level, usually nonviolent, felonies in Missouri can earn early discharge credits from probation or parole. Offenders can shorten their sentences by 30 days for every calendar month they follow the conditions of their sentences. A Pew Charitable Trusts study suggests that they are not re-offending at a higher rate than individuals who serve their full sentences. Read more here.
Use of Electronic Offender-Tracking Devices Expands Sharply
The number of accused and convicted criminal offenders monitored with electronic tracking devices in the United States increased 140 percent between 2005 and 2015, from approximately 53,000 to more than 125,000, according to a survey. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2016/09/use-of-electronic-offender-tracking-devices-expands-sharply
Incarceration in the U.S. Costs More Than $1 Trillion a Year, Washington University Study
The economic toll of incarceration in the United States tops $1 trillion, and more than half of that falls on the families and communities of the people incarcerated, according to a study by Washington University researchers. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/incarceration-in-the-u-s-costs-more-than-trillion-a/article_070eecea-42c1-5258-a508-062079e9b333.html
Arkansas Prison System to Shut Down Its Boot Camp
The Arkansas Department of Corrections will discontinue its boot camp. The program was created in 1989 to enforce military-style discipline with inmates before their release. But the program has had high recidivism rates and was not filled to capacity.
Prisons Chief Orders Sweeping Accuracy Check of Inmate Sentences
The Washington state Department of Corrections has directed staff to verify sentencing information before anyone is released from prison or community supervision to ensure offenders serve the correct amount of time. Staff are checking whether forms used by the courts are clear on whether sentences are consecutive or concurrent, according to a DOC spokesman. The review follows revelations of sentence-calculation problems. For example, in December it was announced that between 2002 and 2015, some offenders convicted of violent crimes had been mistakenly released early, an error that may have freed as many as 3,100 prisoners overall.
Adult Probation & Parole Making Changes to Enhance Parolee Monitoring, Keep Public Safe
The Utah Department of Corrections is taking steps to keep better track of offenders. The Adult Probation and Parole Division has expanded its partnership with the Utah Division of the U.S. Marshals Service's Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team to apprehend more than 50 high-priority fugitives. Other improvements include the implementation of a statewide broadcast system to law enforcement agencies to notify them of high-profile fugitives, and the authorization of enhanced GPS monitoring in all community correctional centers.
Data Analytics Helps Bexar County, Texas, Reduce Inmate Population, Save Millions
In the past seven years, the jail in Bexar County, Texas, has achieved a 25-percent reduction in inmate population and eliminated an overcrowding problem thanks to the use of data analytics. Using Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services, staff can better manage cases and identify inmates who are candidates for drug court, those who are ready for transfer and those who could potentially be released. Reducing the jail’s population also saves the county money.
Data-Sharing Efforts Aim to Improve Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice Outcomes
Charles Rotramel of Houston reVision, a non-profit agency that works with at-risk youth, is leading an effort to get agencies at both the local and state government levels and from various nonprofits to share data and enable the development of a better picture of how many youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system are also involved in the child welfare system. Such data can prove vital in developing accurate case management pictures.
Addressing Real-World Stab and Slash Threats
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is examining the current Stab Resistant Body Armor Standard in an effort to revise it to enhance officer safety. Corrections officers are faced with significant danger on the job and this fact sheet addresses threats and how a revised standard can mitigate them.
National Institute of Justice Releases New Offender Tracking Standard
Criminal Justice Offender Tracking System Standard NIJ Standard-1004.00, a new standard released July 13, 2016, includes minimum performance criteria and test methods for systems used by criminal justice agencies to monitor individuals on probation, parole, work release and more. NIJ Standard-1004.00 is the first standard to address these complex electronic systems; it was developed over a six-year period by an NIJ Special Technical Committee composed of practitioners, laboratory representatives and other subject-matter experts.
Find the standard here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249810.pdf.
SC Hopes Telemedicine Will Improve Inmate Care and Cut Costs
The South Carolina Department of Corrections plans to begin using telemedicine to examine inmates. The agency will partner with the Medical University of South Carolina. Using tools such as videoconferencing, doctors at the Charleston hospital can examine inmates remotely, doing routine exams and diagnosing illnesses. Read more here.
Dane County Health Center Testing Drunken Drivers Using Fingernails, Not Blood
A Wisconsin mental health center is testing repeat drunken drivers using fingernail clippings instead of blood. The Journey Mental Health Center in Dane County switched the testing method from blood to fingernail clippings earlier this year. Drunken drivers convicted three or more times undergo assessments and treatment for a year, during which they are tested periodically to see if they have been drinking. Read more here.
Exclusive Footage: SC Prisoner Live-Streams From Inside Prison
An inmate in a South Carolina Department of Corrections facility used a cell phone to live-stream from inside his prison cell with help from the mobile app Periscope. In the footage streamed on June 26 and 27, there were three to four other prisoners in the cell drinking from an orange cooler and smoking a substance. Viewers were able to comment and ask questions as prisoners responded in real time. Read more here.
Mahoning Jail ODs Prompt Move to Buy County Scanner
The Mahoning County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office has again requested funding to purchase an airport-style full-body scanner for use with all inmates entering or leaving the county jail. Sheriff Jerry Greene and Maj. Alki Santamas, jail administrator, recently requested funding from the county commissioners; it was the second such request in 2016. Two county jail inmates recently overdosed on a drug allegedly smuggled in by a third inmate; both survived. Link to Article
Cell Phones in Prisons Continue to Cause Problems for States
The use of contraband cellphones to carry out scams and arrange for other crimes from inside correctional facilities has led 10 governors, led by Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, to request permission to jam cell phone signals from inside prisons from the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has stated that in the hands of an inmate, a cell phone is a weapon, indicating he may favor the proposal. Link to Article
BJS reports: Prisoners age 55 or older made up 10% of the state prison population in 2013, up from 3% in 1993
Prisoners age 55 or older sentenced to more than one year in state prison increased from 26,300 in 1993 to 131,500 in 2013. This represented a growth from 3% to 10% of the total state prison population during this period. From 1993 to 2013, the median age of state prisoners increased from 30 to 36 years.
Two main factors contributed to the aging of state prisoners between 1993 and 2013: a greater proportion of older prisoners were serving longer sentences, predominantly for violent offenses, and the number of admissions of older persons increased. Both the admission rate and yearend imprisonment rate for state prisoners age 55 or older increased from 1993 to 2013, which indicates that the aging U.S. resident population was not solely responsible for the growth in older offenders in prison.
Read a Summary of the report here.
Read the Full Report here.
Field Search software provides non-technical criminal justice personnel with a free yet powerful tool to quickly and efficiently search a target computer and create a detailed report of findings.
Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections
This report presents the results of the Corrections Advisory Panel, a group convened in fiscal year 2014 as part of the NLECTC Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative to identify current challenges and innovation needs in both community and institutional corrections in the United States.
The electronic version of the 160-page report is available for free and in multiple formats for use in desktop, eReaders and mobile devices. Visit the Rand Web site to read key findings and recommendations and download the ebook.
An NCJRS abstract for Fostering Innovation . . . and links to the report in multiple formats are also available online.
New Releases in the field of Courts Technology
New Mental Health Court Hopes to Rescue Select Inmates
Lake County, Ind., will launch the state’s fourth mental health court. The court will collaborate with local mental health facilities to keep individuals diagnosed with mental illness who commit non-violent crimes out of correctional facilities.
Marion County Prosecutor Partners With NextDoor App
The Marion County (Ind.) Prosecutor’s Office and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department have begun a partnership with the NextDoor app, the first involving a prosecutor’s office. Residents who sign up for the free service will be able to see everything Curry’s office shares and engage with the office about crime watch efforts.
The National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) is hosting the Court Safety and Security Conference, March 7-9, 2017 in Appleton, WI. Learn effective strategies and best practices for responding to security threats in and around the courthouse and network with other criminal justice professionals. Register here.
County Will Upgrade Its Electronic Court System
Courtrooms in Huron County, Mich., are getting an upgraded communications system. The existing system has saved taxpayers and authorities close to $3 million since 2010. The updated Polycom systems will be installed in early 2017. The system is used to conduct arraignments electronically and handle other proceedings, including video testimony.
Shelby Court to Get New Justice Information System
Shelby County, Tenn., plans a major change in November to the computer system that tracks information about criminal cases. As part of a $9.7 million project to integrate criminal justice information systems with new technology, information from cases since 1981 will be reformatted into a new system for people who need minute-by-minute access. The project will bring new websites to the public and software to public defenders and prosecutors, as well as launching a new offender management system for the Shelby County Sheriff's office, Shelby County Jail and Division of Corrections. Read more here.
Court Security Officers Get Time on Simulator
Court security deputies and transport officers in Garland County, Ark., recently took “shoot/don’t shoot” simulator training by using the safety of a projection screen to test their ability to make split-second decisions. Read the story here.
Judicial Council Approves Process for Awarding $25 Million for Court Innovations
California’s Judicial Council has adopted a process to award $25 million in grant funding to promote innovative and efficient programs in the courts. The council is the policymaking body of the California courts. Funding for courts will be available beginning fiscal year 2016-17, and will support innovative programs in areas such as technology, collaborative courts, and family and juvenile courts.
Forensic Science: A Time of Transformation
The criminal justice community is currently looking at the role of forensic science and the certainty of evidence presented in the courtroom. A NIJ Journal article by Jim Dawson examines the issues around developing a whole theory and setting principles for forensic science. The article looks at how a shift in thinking can change how forensic science functions and how the broader legal community perceives it. Read the article here
Corrections Technology Resource Center (CTRC)
May is National Drug Court Month. Read the message from Denise O’Donnell Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, on the value of drug courts and BJA’s ongoing support of them. http://1.usa.gov/1WjosLz
This online resource is dedicated to providing public-sector agencies with information regarding a wide variety of technologies used in correctional settings. Members can gain access to a repository of documents and publications as well as a forum that can be used to communicate directly with each other to discuss areas of common concern. This site is strictly for active, public-sector criminal justice professionals and the intent is to provide a secure environment for sharing information and exchanging ideas.
Find it here: https://www.justnet.org/resources/ctrc.html
10 Essential Elements for Court Security
Read the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators CCJ/COSCA Court Security Handbook: Ten Essential Elements for Court Security and Emergency Preparedness. It covers plans for courtroom safety and security planning, emergency preparedness, disaster recovery, threat assessment, security equipment and more.
Nevada Awards $106,500 for Court Security and Technology Needs
The Nevada Supreme Court awarded $106,500 in grant money to be used in the state to upgrade audiovisual systems and courthouse security improvements. The money comes through the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
Link to Nevada’s Supreme Court Press Release
NIJ's Court Research Portfolio
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sponsors research on courtroom security technologies and forensic science that supports criminal case processing. See NIJ’s Courts Research Portfolio, information on technology related to courts, and other resources.
New Releases in the field of Law Enforcement Technology
California Police Officer Saved by Ballistic Vest
An officer with the Anderson (Calif.) Police Department suffered non-life threatening injuries in an incident on March 26, as his ballistic-resistant vest saved him from more serious injury. The officer was investigating a report of a stolen vehicle at a local motel when the shooting occurred, a department spokesman said.
Officers Given New Uniform Options to Help With Comfort and Efficiency
South Sioux City, Iowa, recently began offering its law enforcement officers a choice of continuing to use a traditional internal carrier for their ballistic-resistant vests or using uniform allowance funds for one of two new external carrier options.
Corvallis Police Convert Shotguns to Use Less Lethal Rounds
In Corvallis, Ore., every shotgun owned by the police department has been converted to fire “pancake bullets” made by Integrity Ballistics. Fired at roughly one-third the speed of a standard bullet, the synthetic polymer ball rounds “pancake” on impact and are designed to incapacitate suspects without killing themhttp://democratherald.com/corvallis/news/local/corvallis-police-convert-shotguns-to-use-less-lethal-rounds/article_a62250f2-904e-52f4-9908-647f477be00b.html
Law Enforcement Cautions Against New Social Media App
Investigators have given a warning about the lack of security on a new app popular with young people, Live Me. An officer from the Benton County (Ark.) Sheriff’s Office and a reporter recently created accounts on the app and immediately gained access to details such as teens’ age and location. Any user can gain access to any other user’s livestream without being added to an account.
Deputy’s Bulletproof Vest Stops Gunshot in Hesperia; Suspect in Custody
Daily Bulletin, (03/16/2017), Beatriz Valenzuela
A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy survived a shooting following an armed robbery in the early morning hours of March 16. The deputy was treated for minor injuries and released the same morning. Authorities were investigating an armed robbery that took place about 12:30 a.m.
Duval County Creates Safety Hotline to Report School Threats
News4JAX, (03/16/2017), Francesca Amiker
Duval County School Police will manage a new hotline, 904-348-SAFE (7233), and email address, 348SAFE@duvalschools.org, that students, faculty and parents can use to report threats or incidents of school violence. In addition to the anonymous tip reporting service, the school district is also instituting random searches and planning several educational programs. http://www.news4jax.com/education/duval-county-creates-safety-hotline-to-report-school-threats
More Details Emerge in Shooting of 2 Detroit Officers
(03/16/2017), Associated Press
Two Detroit Police Department officers will recover from injuries sustained when a suspect in a narcotics investigation shot both of them during the night of March 15. One of the officers’ body armor stopped two bullets to the chest area; he was shot in the ankle. The other took a hit in the neck but will survive, according to a police statement.
Okla. EMS Agency Equipped With Body Armor
The Bryan County EMS in Oklahoma has added 30 ballistic-resistant vests to its protective gear for personnel. The agency’s personnel will also undergo active shooter training with local law enforcement throughout the year.
FBI Unveils Plans for New Regional Computer Forensic Lab
The FBI plans to open a regional computer forensic lab in the new Chelsea, Mass., headquarters of the agency’s Boston division. The lab can serve as a resource for area law enforcement agencies. http://www.chelsearecord.com/2017/03/10/fbi-unveils-plans-for-new-regional-computer-forensic-lab/
LPD Officers Equipped With Overdose-Reversal Drug
Police in Lincolnton, N.C., are among the latest law enforcement officers to begin carrying Narcan (naloxone), a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. Patrol officers and school resource officers who are assigned a vehicle and are trained to administer the drug will carry the kit, which contains intra-nasal and/or auto-injector naloxone, in their vehicles while on duty.
Forensic 'Body Farm' Opens in Florida - Becomes Seventh in US
A state-of-the-art human decomposition research facility known as the Florida Forensic Institute for Research, Security and Tactical Training (FIRST) will open near Tampa. The facility, sometimes called a body farm, will include body donations but will also serve as a training site for K9, ballistics, remote sensing and other cutting-edge forensic techniques. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2017/02/28/new-body-farm-opens-in-florida-becomes-7th-in-u-s/#444bfafb2864
Phoenix Police Launch Virtual Block Watch
The Phoenix Police Department has started a pilot Virtual Block Watch in one precinct, encouraging residents and business owners to enroll their camera systems for inclusion in a precinct-wide map. Investigators may then call on participants to share footage in the event of a nearby crime.
New Police Drone Takes Flight in Morrow
The Morrow Police Department in Georgia is among the latest law enforcement agencies to begin using an unmanned aerial system. Police have used the device in a search for a missing person, and anticipate using it in busy commercial areas to patrol parking lots to curtail break-ins.
Chesapeake Launches Mobile App Aimed at Getting Quicker Aid to Cardiac Arrest Victims
Chesapeake, Va., has launched a free mobile app aimed at getting help to people suffering cardiac arrest as quickly as possible, even before first responders arrive. The PulsePoint app notifies CPR-trained users of sudden cardiac arrests in nearby public places.
Chattanooga City Council Approves $750,000 in Tools for Police Intelligence Center
The Chattanooga City Council has approved $750,000 in cameras, software and video networking tools for the police department’s Real-Time Intelligence Center. Technology items to be purchased include 15 pole-mounted cameras, networking software and a video monitor wall for the center. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/politics/local/story/2017/feb/15/chattanoogcity-council-oks-tools-police-intel/412916/
Suffolk Police Invest in New Technology to Help Keep Officers Safe
Three new robots for inspecting suspicious packages are among items recently purchased by the Suffolk County Police Department on New York’s Long Island. http://wshu.org/post/suffolk-police-invest-new-technology-help-keep-officers-safe
State Grants Keep Delaware Police Departments Up-to-Date
Law enforcement agencies in Delaware used $330,479 in FY 2016 state grants to add equipment, training and patrol hours. Camden police purchased two workstation computers and eight riot helmets. Dover police used the funds for its cadet program, technology upgrades in police cruisers, its planning and training unit, and to aid vice and organized crime investigations. The Clayton PD fitted a new patrol vehicle with emergency lighting, siren and prisoner partition.
Michigan Schools Awarded $2 Million in Safety, Security Grants
Fifty-two Michigan schools will receive part of nearly $2 million in state grants to improve safety and security through the purchase of equipment and technology, according to the Michigan State Police. http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/02/michigan_schools_awarded_2_mil.html
Using Cell Phones to Fight Crime
The Aurora (Ill.) Police Department has launched a campaign titled "Click, then Call," to encourage residents to use their cell phones to take photos and video of suspicious activity, then share them with the department. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/news/ct-abn-click-then-call-st-0203-20170202-story.html
New FBI Wanted App: Making It Easier to Find Fugitives and Missing Persons
The just-released FBI Wanted mobile app allows the public to view, search, sort, filter and bookmark the full range of information issued by the FBI, including pictures and descriptions of wanted fugitives, missing persons, crime suspects, deceased victims and others the Bureau is seeking to locate or identify. https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/new-fbi-wanted-app
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Uses NIJ’s SHOW App
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Stevens Creek Church in Columbia County, Ga., are using the National Institute of Justice’s Safeguarding Houses of Worship app, which helps congregations assess their security risks and plan accordingly. http://wjbf.com/2017/01/19/columbia-county-sheriffs-office-becomes-first-in-the-nation-to-use-church-safety-app/
Muhlenberg Police Department Launch Digital Crime Fighting Tool
Muhlenberg Township, Penn., has a new website that provides the public direct access to crime- and public safety-related information. http://www.bctv.org/special_reports/safety/muhlenberg-police-department-launch-digital-crime-fighting-tool/article_e2336e28-ddab-11e6-8ddd-dfff3c043839.html
Valparaiso Police Launch UAS Program
Police in Valparaiso, Ind., are using unmanned aerial systems to assist in investigations such as locating missing persons and taking crime scene photos. http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/valparaiso-police-launch-drone-program/article_fc1cea1c-43c9-534a-b963-6c007643559a.html
New Pa. Alert System to Connect With Stranded Motorists
Pennsylvania has a new system to allow officials to better communicate with motorists stranded for more than two hours on the state’s highways. The 511PAConnect system will send a message to all cellphones in a specific area when a standstill occurs on a limited-access highway. Read more here.
‘Tool Kit’ Announced to Aid Law Enforcement With Backlogged Rape Kits
Kentucky law enforcement agencies now have a “tool kit” to help deal with thousands of untested rape kits.
Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies Get Funding to Improve Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety
Law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in Florida will use grant money to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. The grants come from the Florida Department of Transportation and the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research.
Aviation Unit Returns to the Department of Natural Resources
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources again has a helicopter as an enforcement tool. The aircraft will be used as a surveillance platform to assist Natural Resources police officers as they patrol 17,000 miles of waterways and nearly a half-million acres of public lands. http://helihub.com/2016/12/04/aviation-unit-returns-to-the-department-of-natural-resources/
Indiana Launches Predictive Crash Tool for Citizens, First Responders
Indiana has a new website to help drivers and first responders with predicting and avoiding traffic accidents. http://www.govtech.com/data/Indiana-Launches-Predictive-Crash-Tool-for-Citizens-First-Responders.html
FWB Police to Start Wearing Body Cameras
Police in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., will soon be wearing body cameras. The city will purchase 35 body cameras for its officers, and 35 vehicle cameras to replace outdated patrol car cameras. the use of body cameras can improve policing practices and community relations.
Several Universities Have Gunshot-Detection Technology. UMD Might Follow Suit
University of Maryland police are piloting gunshot-detection technology on campus. The SecureCampus technology, developed by ShotSpotter, can pinpoint the location of gunfire using strategically placed sensors. http://www.dbknews.com/2016/12/01/university-of-maryland-police-gun-testing/
Fort Bend ISD Police Officers to Wear Body Cameras in Schools
Officers with the Fort Bend (Texas) Independent School District Police Department will begin wearing body cameras after the Thanksgiving holidays. The department’s chief said the decision to order the cameras was made a year ago because of reports of disturbing use of force at the national and state levels.
LAPD Could Roll Out ‘Less-lethal’ Weapon Citywide to Curb Escalation
A Los Angeles Police Department review committee will determine whether a three-month pilot project expanding the use of less-lethal guns that fire 40-mm sponge rounds will continue as a citywide deployment of the devices. The guns are intended to incapacitate, but not kill, a subject.
Atlanta Police Will Get New Body Armor With $900,000 Ga. Power Donation
The Atlanta Police Department will purchase new helmets and body armor designed to protect against assault weapons using a $900,000 donation from Georgia Power and matching funds from the city. About 1,500 protective vests and helmets will go to police, while 281 will go to firefighters and 75 to department of corrections officers.
Surveillance Poles to Combat Crime in Downtown Santa Ana
The city of Santa Ana has installed seven code blue help points downtown to help fight crime. Each point is equipped with a camera, an information call button and a 911 call button. Police said the points can provide evidentiary value in the event of a crime and provide an additional resource for the public. The blue flashing lights make the poles easy to spot, and the poles can be used by police in a large-scale emergency to address the public with a live or recorded message. When the help button is pushed, the call dispatcher can see and hear the person who is calling for help.
Missouri City Awarded Bulletproof Vest Grant
The police department in Missouri City, Texas, will be able to purchase body armor with grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance Fiscal Year 2016 Bulletproof Vest Partnership program. The city has received this recurring grant for more than a decade, which reimburses the police department for 50 percent of the costs for replacement of body armor.
LMPD Says Gunshot Detection System Could Help Investigate City’s Shootings
Police in Louisville, Ky., want to use a gunshot detection system to improve response time and help with investigating shootings. The detection systems use a network of microphones to triangulate the sound of gunshots and provide a location to police. The department recently presented research on the systems to the Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee.
School Shooting Drill Tests Readiness and New Police Drones
The Modesto Police Department recently used unmanned aerial vehicles in an active shooter training exercise held in conjunction with the Stanislaus Union School District. For the drill, a mobile command with video screens served as home base for the UAV operators, who then relayed information to officers on the ground. Read the story here.
3D-Printed Fake Hand Fools Fingerprint Readers
Michigan State University scientists testing the accuracy of commercial fingerprint scanners discovered that the scanners can be tricked with a 3D-printed fake hand. The finding was incidental to their goal of testing the accuracy of a set of fingerprint scanners. Read more here.
California Shares Cybercrime Services With Local Law Enforcement
The California Cyber Crime Center (C4) is now serving police departments in cities and counties throughout the state. C4 will serve 46 of California’s 58 counties. The state is also continuing its programs to train law enforcement in the detection and assessment of digital crime.
Virginia Law Enforcement Get Cell Phones to Help Domestic Violence Victims
Verizon Wireless is loaning 500 cell phones to Virginia police officers through a partnership with the Virginia Attorney General’s office. The officers use the phones to connect individuals perceived to be at risk of domestic violence with needed services. Read more here.
New Simulator Designed To Improve Officer Training, Safety
As part of a revamp of the Denver Police Department’s training program, the city has a 300-degree training simulator that can be customized with local settings to allow officers to practice making split-second decisions about use of force, verbal de-escalation and less-lethal options.
“Premise Alerts” Prepare First Responders for Special Situations
Residents of Cambria County, Pa., may submit “premise alert” forms to the county’s Department of Emergency Services. Information from the forms will be tied to their addresses and will alert fire, police and EMS personnel that an individual with special needs – such as autism, Alzheimer’s, poor articulation due to stroke, hearing loss, lack of knowledge of spoken English, etc. – lives at that address.
FBI Releases Materials Explaining the N-DEx System
The FBI has produced a fact sheet and a brochure on its N-DEx system, a database from thousands of law enforcement and criminal just data sources, available at no cost to agencies. Search hundreds of millions of records and/or participate by sharing your own data. Find the fact sheet here: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/2016-it-n-dex.pdf/view and the brochure here: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/n-dex-brochure.pdf/view.
NYPD Will Add Cameras to Prisoner Transport Vans
NYPD plans to retrofit all 110 prisoner transport vans already in service with security cameras, at a cost of $2,100; new vans coming online will also carry the equipment. Read the story here.
Miami-Dade High School Preparing Students for Law Enforcement Careers
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial High School, near the Miami Police Department, offers an AA degree and certification that allows them to enroll in a four-year institution of higher learning or attend a police academy. Read the story here.
The FBI released, Crime in the United States 2015, an annual compilation of crimes reported to its Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR). The report indicates an increase in violent crime and a decrease property crime. Find info on the report here.
GA Police Officer Saved by Wearing Body Armor
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting of a patrol officer in Jackson overnight Tuesday. Officer Sherry Hall approached a man sitting on the shoulder of a road to see if he needed assistance; the man became argumentative and then fired a shot at her, authorities said. Hall sustained a deep bruise in the abdomen but the bullet was stopped by her ballistic-resistant vest. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/jackson-cop-shot-body-armor-saves-her/nsXK8/
APD Receives Grant to Help With DNA Lab Backlog
Austin police will use a $200,000 grant from NIJ to help reduce the backlog of DNA testing of evidence, including sexual assault kits.
City Approves Money for New Crime Lab Technology
The Albuquerque Police Department will be getting equipment and training for a local system of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). The city council approved $140,000 for the equipment. Managed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, NIBIN is a database which allows for comparison of ballistic evidence.
Cincinnati Police Deploy First Officer Body Cameras
Cincinnati has begun rollout of body-worn cameras for police officers. Officials expect to distribute 700 cameras by the end of the year. City officials have said officers don’t have to tell citizens that they’re being recorded. Officers will be required to activate the cameras in various emergency situations.
Eaton County Sheriff Deputies Now Using Mobile Fingerprint Scanners
A Michigan sheriff’s office is using mobile fingerprint scanners to accelerate identification of wanted persons. The Eaton County Sheriff's Office is among the first law enforcement agencies in mid-Michigan to implement the scanners, which are linked to the police in-car computers that transmit a scanned fingerprint to the Michigan Automated Fingerprint Identification System and to the FBI National Fingerprint database. In minutes, deputies can know if there is a record on file which positively identifies the person.
Police Use App to Locate Stolen Phones Before Arresting Suspects
Police in Buffalo, N.Y., recently used the “Find iPhone” app to help apprehend three persons suspected of an armed robbery that included theft of two cellphones. The three were charged with numerous offenses, including armed robbery.
Simulator Mimics Stressful Calls Police May Get
The police department in Cape May, N.J., is addressing the stressful situations faced by today’s law enforcement officers by implementing the latest in virtual reality technology. The equipment, consisting of a freeware advanced audio coder (FAAC) and the Milo firearms simulator, allow trainers at the agency’s training academy to take an officer from the moment of receiving a call in a patrol car through the completion of an incident involving use-of-force decisions.
Personal Armor and Fit Assessment is a new publication to help law enforcement and corrections professionals determine how well body armor fits. It provides a checklist for officers to rate proper coverage and ease of motion among other issues regarding body armor. Find the checklist here.
New Fact Sheet on Understanding NIJ 0101.06 Armor Protection Levels
NIJ has issued a new fact sheet for law enforcement and corrections professionals who are looking for detailed information on the levels of protection provided by NIJ compliant ballistic body armor. The publication explains existing levels of protection and what compliant products are tested against. Find the downloadable fact sheet here.
Falmouth Police Procure State-of-the-Art Vessel
The Falmouth, Maine police department purchased a new harbor patrol boat with advanced technology. The $327,000 vessel was purchased in part with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The 27-foot boat’s advanced technology systems include a device that can pick up heat signatures of people in the water; an advanced navigation system and automatic course plotter that maps out hazards; a multi-unit communication system to connect with other agencies, and a radar system that can help in recovery missions. Read more here. http://www.theforecaster.net/falmouth-police-procure-state-of-the-art-vessel/
Harrisburg Police Start Database of Private Video Systems to Help Solve Crimes
Police in Harrisburg, Pa., are compiling a database of businesses and residences with video surveillance systems. The database is designed to help direct detectives to camera systems near where a crime is reported. Registering a video system with the police if voluntary. Police will contact owners of video systems if they need help with a crime. Read more here.
Cincinnati Police Body Camera Program Starts August 1
The Cincinnati Police Department will begin deploying body worn cameras on August 1. The city will initially have about 700 cameras for patrol officers, and is seeking funding for 400 more devices. The department has established guidelines for using the cameras. Read more here.
NIST Will Hold Free Trace Evidence Data Workshop
On July 19-20, 2016, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will hold a free workshop to gather feedback from the practitioners and researchers in the forensic science community on further improving access and expanding the development of datasets useful for trace forensic evidence.
Attendees will discuss:
- The Importance of Reference Data in Trace Evidence Analysis
- What Does the Future Hold for Trace Evidence Analysis
- Research Needs in Trace Evidence Analysis
- Statistical Considerations in The Development of Trace Evidence Databases
- Private Sector Insights on Database Development
LAPD Enlisting 100 BMW i3 Electric Cars
The Los Angeles Police Department plans to add 100 BMW i3 electric cars to its fleet, for use in non-emergency and community outreach situations. The battery-powered i3 gets 81 miles per charge, and BMW says in 2017 that will increase to 114 miles. The total price tag is estimated at $1.4 million, less expensive than conventional models considered by LAPD. Article
The City Of Houston Will Add Radiation Detection to Crime Fighting Tools
The City of Houston has received a five-year, $30 million grant for equipment to detect radioactive material, including 5,000 to 6,000 radiation detectors to be issued to first responders and equipment for 15 to 20 vehicles, including cars, boats and aircraft. Houston is the fourth city to receive grant money under the Securing the Cities initiative. Other participants are New York, Los Angeles and Washington. Read more here: Article
National Police Week 2016: Honoring and Remembering our Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Again this year, communities across the United States will come together during National Police Week—May 15-21—to honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.
This year, the names of 252 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These 252 officers include 123 officers who were killed during 2015, plus 129 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
The names of all 252 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated during the 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2016. The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2016. The national observance is organized by a group of organizations led by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), Concerns of Police Survivors, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
On May 15th each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary host a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their families.
In tribute to American law enforcement officers and at the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates May 15th National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half staff.
For more information about National Police Week, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.
NIJ’s New JTIC Is the Go-To Technology Resource for Criminal Justice Professionals
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today introduced the Justice Technology Information Center (JTIC). As a component of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) System, the new JTIC is a part of NIJ’s comprehensive strategy to more effectively serve the changing information-gathering needs of key decision makers in law enforcement, courts and corrections agencies.
JTIC is the go-to source for those who make decisions for criminal justice agencies regarding the evaluation, selection and purchase of equipment and technology. As a comprehensive resource portal for professionals to gather information on innovations in technology that are transforming the criminal justice system, JTIC is designed to provide these decision makers with timely, relevant and unbiased information they need to select and acquire equipment that has been evaluated and proven to be effective and safe.
“JTIC can be accessed through familiar avenues such as JUSTNET, JUSTNET-News and e-TechBeat,” said JTIC’s Director, Lance Miller. “In addition, the Compliance Testing Program will be a key component of JTIC. Agencies will also find up-to-date information about current and pending NIJ standards and research.”
Through JTIC, NIJ will upgrade its ability to communicate policies and disseminate information to those who enhance public safety in communities across the country. “The center will make improvements to online products, videos and printed materials to reflect NIJ’s ongoing commitment to providing cutting-edge research results and information on technology,” said Miller.
For more information on JTIC, go to www.justnet.org.
BJA Body-worn Camera Toolkit Updates
The Bureau of Justice Assistance has announced enhancements to its Body-Worn Camera Toolkit, an online resource for law enforcement professionals interested in planning and implementing a body-worn camera program. This toolkit consolidates and translates the growing body of knowledge about BWC programs and technology. See the updates to the RSS Feed, announcements, the podcast page and the video gallery.
Tampa Police Officer Saved by Ballistic Vest
Investigators says that Tampa police Officer Jose Rodriguez was saved by his ballistic-resistant vest on March 26, when a reported altercation outside the Hyatt Place Hotel turned into a gunfight. Rodriguez was shot in the upper chest when one of the two men involved in the altercation opened fire on the officer. Both unidentified suspects were fatally shot at the scene.
Protect Your School with This New App
SROs: Conduct a safety assessment of your campus, inside and out. Request a copy of NLECTC’s School Safe app. It’s free, but limited to qualified SROs and school administrators. Find info here.
Forensic Science Research and Development Funding Webinar Recording, Transcript, and Slides Now Available
NIJ held a webinar to provide details and guidance for potential applicants to the Forensic Science Research and Development for Criminal Justice Purposes Program. Materials from the webinar are now available online.
Watch the recording.
Read the transcript.
Review the presentation slides.
Applications for the solicitation are due February 28, 2017. Review the solicitation.
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Forensic Science Research and Development Funding Webinar Recording, Transcript, and Slides Now Available