New Releases in the field of Corrections
Inmates Fly Mobile Phones, Drugs and Porn Into Jail — Via Drone
An investigation by USA Today staff into U.S. Department of Justice documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show more than a dozen attempts to smuggle items such as cell phones, drugs and pornography into federal prisons over a five-year span. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/06/15/inmates-increasingly-look-drones-smuggle-contraband-into-their-cells/102864854/
Tennessee Prisons Will Serve as a Guinea Pig for On-Site Cell Phone Forensics
Tennessee will soon begin on-site analysis of contraband cell phones confiscated in the state’s correctional facilities. Special computers required for the analysis will be installed in all facilities; the hardware will be paid for by a federal grant.
Data From Electronic Monitoring Helps Greensboro Police Connect Man to Attempted Robbery
Forensic evidence and data points collected from an electronic monitoring device have connected a Greensboro, N.C., resident with an attempted commercial robbery. Adam Parker was wearing the device while on release pending trial on charges of possession of firearm by a felon and felony carrying a concealed weapon.
Law Enforcement Agencies Join Forces to Combat Contraband in Tennessee Prisons
More thorough searches of inmates and of vehicles and people entering prison property are among the measures the Tennessee Department of Correction plans to take to reduce the amount of contraband in the state’s prisons. Helping in the effort are the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Safety, the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The partnership’s first initiative involved a search of more than 300 vehicles and resulted in the recovery of cellphones and drug paraphernalia. The task force of nine agencies includes the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Metro Nashville Police.
Appeals Court Tosses FCC Cap on Cost of Calls to Prisons
A federal appeals court has struck down regulations intended to cap the price of some calls to prison inmates. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the Federal Communications Commission lacked authority to set rates for calls between inmates and people in the same state. Companies that provide prison phone service sued to stop the 2015 FCC rules. The in-state rate caps, intended to stop high charges between inmates and people in the same state, were suspended by earlier court decisions and never went into effect.
34 Indicted in Meth Trafficking Operation Run From State Prisons
Thirty-four people in South Carolina, including state prison inmates, have been indicted as part of an investigation into a methamphetamine trafficking organization that largely operated out of state prisons. S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office announced that between January and May, a state grand jury investigation returned 19 indictments alleging multiple but connected conspiracies each related to trafficking 400 grams or more of methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and heroin, firearms charges and other crimes. The inmates ran the meth trafficking organization using contraband cell phones and smart phones to direct drug deliveries, sales, payments and other trafficking-related activities of co-conspirators on the outside, the release said.
Painesville Judge Requiring Drunk Driving Defendants to Download Uber, Lyft on Smartphones
An Ohio judge has begun requiring offenders guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) to download the Uber and Lyft apps to their smartphones and enter a credit card number as a condition of probation and to inspire them not to drink and drive. Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael A. Cicconetti said, “It’s just common sense. Now that we have the technology and most people have the ability to do that, why not make it part of their sentence?” In 2016, there were 604 citations for OVI issued for defendants who appeared in Painesville Municipal Court.
New York Spreads Crime Analysis Tech Across the State
The state of New York is opening up crime analysis centers across the state for local police. The centers provide local law enforcement with increased data sharing capabilities along with access to social media mining software and geospatial data systems to help map crime hot spots. In addition to connection with each other, centers have access to information from the State Police, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the federal probation system.
Polygraph Therapy Faces Scrutiny in Child Porn Cases
This article examines issues surrounding the use of therapeutic polygraphs for sex offenders. The article discusses what occurred during a hearing in New York after an assistant U.S. attorney asked that a sex offender take a polygraph as a condition of his supervised release.
Imprisoned by Technology
This audio recorded at Swinburne University in May discusses use of technology such as surveillance, home detention and electronic bracelets as alternatives to incarceration, and whether technology can do everything expected in prisons: punish offenders, keep the community safe and reduce re-offending. The guest is Mirko Bagaric, professor of law and director of the Evidence-based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project at Swinburne University.
County to Arm Correctional Officers With Pepper Spray
Guards at the Luzerne County (Penn.) Correctional Facility will begin carrying pepper spray with them on a routine basis. Prompted by the death of corrections Officer Kristopher Moules in July 2016, the new policy represents a change from the facility’s previously only making the spray available on every floor of the facility.
KSTP Investigation Leads State to Ban GPS Tracking of DUI Offenders
Investigative reports by KSTP have led to a new Minnesota law that will halt GPS tracking of Minnesota residents who must pass an ignition interlock system’s breathalyzer test to start their vehicles. The reporting indicated that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety required the DUI offenders to install the new systems without informing them that the devices had GPS capabilities that would allow the state to track their driving patterns.
Drone, Drugs, 10-inmate Fight Lock Down Auburn Correctional Facility
A fight broke out in the exercise yard at New York’s Auburn Correctional Facility on May 23, spreading to involve 10 men before corrections officers broke up the fight with pepper spray and a gas canister. Following the fight, officers confiscated two inmate-made slashing weapons. The previous day, a contraband search had turned up a knife and a drone inside the facility, which remained on lockdown.
Cell Phone Smuggling in Richmond County Jails Have Decreased
In Georgia’s Richmond County, Jail Warden Evan Joseph says that mixing up contraband searches on a random basis to include weekends, as well as the addition of 32 more surveillance cameras, may be behind a recent decrease in the number of contraband cell phones found by corrections staff. Inmates often use the phones to arrange for the smuggling of additional contraband and to continue their criminal activities while behind bars.
Three Arizona State Prisons Plan to Add Employment Centers to Help Soon-to-be Released Inmates Find Jobs
Inside three state prisons, the Arizona Department of Economic Security has partnered with the Arizona Department of Corrections to launch an employment program staffed by employment specialists from ARIZONA@WORK to help inmates find employers who are willing to hire them despite their backgrounds. A pilot program in the Mesa and Tucson parole offices led to the centers in the
Tucson, Lewis and Perryville correctional facilities.
Hundreds of Missouri Sex Offenders Now Required to Wear GPS Monitoring Devices for Life
A revision to the Missouri state criminal code that took effect on Jan. 1, 2017, requires individuals who were convicted of 13 specified sex crimes based on actions that took place on or after Aug. 28, 2006, to wear GPS monitoring devices for life – even after they have completed serving their sentences. Several individuals are suing the state for imposing the retroactive sanctions. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/hundreds-of-missouri-sex-offenders-now-required-to-wear-gps/article_2f21d6bb-1dc2-5395-9513-016fc05ae333.html
Washington Prisoners Get Chance to Pursue 2-Year Degrees
A new Washington State law will open doors for programs that offer state-funded associate's degree and certificate instruction to qualified individuals among the 18,000 inmates in state correctional facilities. Previously, inmates only had access to one-year vocational certificates and privately funded academic degree programs. Research shows that inmates who receive such education are 43 percent less likely to recidivate and 13 percent more likely to become employed.
California Shifts From Scanners to Dogs to Catch Smugglers
As a three-year, $15.3 million program that used a variety of techniques to try to stop contraband from entering California correctional facilities comes to an end, the state has decided not to continue many of the technical aspects of the program. Rather, funds will go toward ensuring that each prison has a minimum of two dogs that will sniff out contraband, including cellphones and drugs. Facilities will also continue to use a less intensive technological approach.
New Technology Being Used to ID Offenders
The Milwaukee County Jail recently began using iris scans to identify individuals booked into the facility. The Inmate Recognition and Identification System compares the scans to those of more than 1 million individuals whose scans are recorded in databases across the country.
Guernsey Prison Testing Pioneering Anti-drone Tech
Skyfence, a new technology that detects and deflects incoming drones, will be used in a pilot project in Les Nicolles Prison in Guernsey. The use of drones to bring contraband into correctional facilities is an increasing problem in the United Kingdom.
TCSO Detention Officers Utilizing New Stab Resistant Body Armor
Officers in Georgia’s Tift County Jail now have stab-resistant body armor to wear for protection during their shifts. Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough said that more than 100 homemade weapons have been confiscated from inmates in the past five years, during which six corrections officers have been attacked.
2 Accused of Trying to Fly Drones at SC Prison
In South Carolina, two men have been arrested for attempting to smuggle contraband materials into the medium-security Kershaw Correctional Institution. The suspects were carrying knives, marijuana and cell phones when they were arrested after a police chase.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Department Looks to Buy Full Body Scanner to Combat Drug Problem Inside Jail
So far in 2017, the Delaware County Jail in Indiana has had 18 drug-related incidents, including several overdoses. In order to combat the problem, the sheriff’s department has asked the county commissioners to purchase a $200,000 full body scanner, similar to the ones used in airports.
State Correctional Facilities Cracking Down on Employees Two Years After Dannemora Escape
Employees of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS) must now bring their lunches and other personal belongings in clear plastic bags, aimed at reducing the amount of contraband smuggled into the state’s correctional system. The change is a response to the 2015 escape of two convicts from the Dannemora facility; the escapees used tools smuggled to them by a corrections employee. http://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/state-correctional-facilities-cracking-down-on-employees-two-years-after-dannemora-escape/694549757
Ohio Prisons Are In The Midst of a Suboxone-Smuggling Crisis
Random drug tests conducted in Ohio prisons in December 2016 indicate that 1 out of every 20 inmates had used Suboxone, the addiction treatment drug that has become a highly sought-after form of contraband. Suboxone comes in small strips, similar in appearance to breath strips, and is easily converted to forms that can be smuggled into correctional facilities. A black-market strip may sell for as much as $100.
W.Va. Begins Crisis Intervention Training for Prisons and Jails
West Virginia crisis intervention teams will be trained on safely defusing and de-escalating incidents involving inmates with mental illness. The state Division of Corrections received a grant from the National Institute of Corrections last year, through which an initial class of correctional officers will receive 40 hours of intensive training adapted from the Memphis Model for crisis intervention. http://www.register-herald.com/news/w-va-begins-crisis-intervention-training-for-prisons-and-jails/article_a90ec60d-68bc-522a-a2ca-753acadbf81f.html
Addiction Drug Suboxone is Popular Prison Contraband
Prison inmates in Ohio are abusing Suboxone, a prescription drug usually used to treat people with opioid addiction. Prison officials say a strip of Suboxone the size of a postage stamp, which melts on the tongue, sells for about $100 or more in a prison black market.
Jail Study Points to Alternative Methods for Housing Pretrial Inmates
A report proposes alternatives to housing pretrial inmates in the Boone County jail in Missouri, rather than increasing the size of the jail or building a new one to alleviate crowding. http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/jail-study-points-to-alternative-methods-for-housing-pretrial-inmates/article_965814ba-1fb7-11e7-8f42-ffcc4260fd30.html
Tablets Let Inmates Go Online at Polk County Jail
Inmates in the Polk County (Iowa) Jail can explore the Internet, watch movies and contact their loved ones as part of a pilot project providing access to tablet computers. Provided by Telmate, use of the tablets costs inmates three to five cents a minute, which is deducted from their commissary accounts. The program began operation March 9.
For Jail-hardened Inmates, Dogs Are Bringing Out a Softer Side
Home for Hounds, a new program at the Dallas County Jail, pairs inmates with shelter dogs in a program aimed at teaching both men and dogs “new tricks.” Inmates adhere to a strict training schedule, getting up at 5 a.m. to feed the dogs and teach them basic obedience. The animals were scheduled to be euthanized, but the hope is that with their newly acquired skills, they will become strong candidates for adoption. The program is funded by commissary funds.
Manatee Jail's 'Recovery Pods' a Success in Year One, With Room for Improvement
In the past year, more than 500 men and women have participated in a “Recovery Pod” program in Florida’s Manatee Jail, receiving around-the-clock counseling for more than 90 days. Run by volunteers and encompassing 30 beds each for men and women, the program’s goal is to change the way that inmates think about their addiction and to promote focus on recovery.
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 Law Enforcement Technology
Police Departments Take to the Skies
Fighting crime from the sky, once the province of helicopters and small airplanes, is now expanding to include the use of drones. In spite of public apprehension about their use, many departments are finding drones useful for finding missing persons, monitoring natural disasters, and assisting with traffic control and accident investigation.
Cops Given Special Gear So They Don’t OD During Drug Busts
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Police Department recently began to train its officers in the use of special protective gear when responding to a drug scene, although the officers are advised, if possible, to wait for trained crime scene technicians to handle any potential drug-related substance. http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/15/cops-given-special-gear-so-they-dont-od-during-drug-busts/
Officer Saved by Bulletproof Vest During Armed Home Invasion
A Hall County, Ga., sheriff’s deputy survived a shot to the torso during a response to a home invasion thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest. http://www.11alive.com/news/local/officer-saved-by-bulletproof-vest-during-armed-home-invasion/449663909
App Gives Responders Mental Health Info for Better Decisions
The RideAlong app integrates with the national 911 system to allow law enforcement officers to access information on how best to interact with registered individuals who have a mental illness https://gcn.com/articles/2017/06/16/ridealong-app-mental-illness.aspx
First Responders Learn How to Identify, Safely Handle Meth Labs
More than 250 police officers, firefighters and emergency responders recently participated in a training session in Hadley, Mass., to learn how to identify and safely handle meth labs and learn about other drugs. The clandestine lab training session was provided by the company that developed the first Basic Clan (short for “clandestine”) Lab and Site Safety Officer programs for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration. One session during the training featured the opioid fentanyl and the dangers of coming into contact with the drug.
Police Deliver Bait Packages to Catch “Porch Pirates”
Police are using bait packages with GPS trackers to find thieves who steal packages delivered to doorsteps. Inside a regular shipping box, officers pack a common delivery item along with a GPS tracking device. In Southern California, Arcadia police say more than 100 suspected thieves have taken the bait. To avoid being a victim, police say residents should have packages delivered to an address where someone can receive them in person. People can also install surveillance cameras to deter thieves.
Erwin Police to Get Body Cameras
Police in Erwin, N.C., will soon be equipped with new, improved body-worn cameras. The department plans to purchase 10 of the nearly $300 cameras for the patrol division. The new cameras are more sophisticated than the ones previously used by the department.
Drone Usage by Local Police, Fire Departments Quickly Increasing
Approximately a dozen police, fire and emergency agencies surrounding the Washington, D.C., area are using drones to capture criminal suspects and fight fires. Departments using the technology include the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, all in Virginia.
Prince William Co. Police to Start Wearing Body Cameras
Police in Prince William County, Va., will begin wearing body cameras in the fall. The department said cameras will be worn by patrol officers, K-9 officers, traffic enforcement and school resource officers. The department tested two systems in a pilot program before deciding which cameras to buy.
Three Samples of Carfentanil Found in Mass. for First Time
The Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory has identified three samples of carfentanil, a lethal synthetic opioid never before identified in the state. The drug is about 100 times more potent than fentanyl and many times more potent than heroin, state police wrote in a statement. It can be absorbed through the skin or accidentally inhaled. The statement noted that carfentanil has been used to sedate elephants and has no legitimate medical uses for humans. Police said they are not aware of any deaths in Massachusetts currently tied to carfentanil, but several recent overdose deaths in New Hampshire are believed to be caused by the substance.
First Responders Wear Respirators During Suspected Drug Probe in Weathersfield
Some first responders in Ohio have begun wearing respirators on calls involving suspected drug overdoses, following an incident in early May in which an East Liverpool police officer had to be revived with four doses of Narcan following a response to a drug-involved incident. http://www.wfmj.com/story/35512427/troopers-wear-respirators-during-suspected-drug-probe-in-weathersfield
Think You Can Get Away With Speeding? HPD’s New Radar Might Change Your Mind
Honolulu Police Department patrol cars are being equipped with new radar devices that allow officers to monitor speeds of cars in front of them, behind them and coming from the opposite direction, all while officers continue to drive. The department has used federal grant money to install the sensors in 20 patrol cars, which will reduce the need for officers to stand by the side of the road with radar-measuring devices.
In Opioid Crisis, a New Risk for Police: Accidental Overdose
The Harford County (Md.) Sheriff’s Office has purchased 100 kits that include a protective suit, booties, gloves and face masks for use by deputies responding to potential drug scenes. The kits are a response to a recent incident in which Cpl. Kevin Phillips had to be revived by the anti-overdose drug Narcan after he collected investigative evidence while wearing gloves
Two Georgia Officers Shot; Gunman Sought
Two officers in College Park, Ga., survived an encounter with an armed gunman after a confrontation in a restaurant Saturday afternoon. Neither officer was seriously injured; one survived a shot in the abdomen thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest, while the other took a hit that was primarily deflected by his radio. The suspect remains at large.
Education Service District 105 Use of Technology Has Found New Ways to Keep Schools Safe
Washington State Education District 105 in Yakima has put together a School Safety Operations & Coordination Center (SSOC) that the local sheriff has likened to having a second dispatch center. Staff use an advanced security system to monitor any emergency responses near local schools and initiate action as needed. The Center can also monitor social media at administrator request and uses the Inpointe mobile app to keep in contact with local law enforcement.
National Blue Alert Network for Police Will Borrow Concept From AMBER Alerts
The Community Oriented Policing Services Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will jointly administer a new National Blue Alert Network, a nationwide communications system that will quickly circulate information on potentially threatening situations for law enforcement officers. The Federal Communications Commission will act as a third partner in the effort. Like AMBER Alerts, Blue Alerts will quickly spread information to law enforcement, media outlets and the public on the possible whereabouts, physical descriptions, vehicle information and other characteristics of people suspected of attacking law enforcement officers.
Manitowoc Scanners Go Quiet With Encryption
In Wisconsin, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, Manitowoc Police Department and Two Rivers Police Department have switched to exclusively using encrypted radio channels. Local departments says the change was made to promote officer safety, as residents can no longer use scanners to listen in on police calls.
Facebooking a Felony: How Social Media Is Helping Police Catch Crooks
Social media has become a tool that law enforcement agencies across the country are using to investigate and solve crimes. Cape Coral, Fla., area departments say that it has upped officers’ workload, but also resulted in more arrests and more case resolutions.
While Dispatchers Get Familiar With New Systems, KC Police Officers Told to Refrain From Some Regular Tasks
Until issues have been resolved with the city’s new computer-aided dispatch system, patrol officers in Kansas City, Kan., have been told not to initiate calls to dispatch by stopping speeding drivers, pulling people over, or making any other routine traffic stops or self-initiated activities. The stoppage is intended to give dispatchers time to become more familiar with the new system. Officers are to continue to initiate action in the event of an emergency, however.
Missing Fairfax Co. Woman Identified, Confirmed Dead 27 Years Later
Police in Orange County, Calif., have used the National Institute of Justice’s NamUS (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) to solve a 27-year-old cold case and bring closure to the family of a Fairfax County, Va., woman. The department entered DNA, fingerprints and other physical material into the system, and positively identified the woman based on fingerprints taken when she had worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Metro Looks for New Options for Less Lethal Force, Shows Off New Sponge Rounds
Metro Las Vegas Police will begin using a new sponge round this summer to increase their less lethal options. The new rounds are bigger and somewhat softer than the beanbags currently used by the force, but actually produce more pain. The rounds are shot out of a weapon that looks like a 1930s tommy gun.
Police Officers Warned About Handling Deadly Drug Mixtures
An Ohio police officer nearly died after patting down a suspect. Police say the officer accidently came into contact with a suspected deadly mixture of fentanyl. http://www.morningjournalnews.com/news/local-news/2017/05/traffic-stop-almost-turns-deadly-for-elo-officer/
Davenport Police Release Educational Video to Fight Vehicle Thefts
A rash of vehicle thefts, thought to be the work of juveniles, has prompted the Davenport (Iowa) Police Department to release an educational video telling residents what to look out for to help combat the thefts. http://www.kwqc.com/content/news/Davenport-Police-release-educational-video-to-fight-vehicle-thefts-421246584.html
Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff's Office Joins Private-Sector Partnership
Minnesota’s Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has become the 10th law enforcement agency in the country to start its own Shield program, a public-private information-sharing partnership that is modeled after, and an affiliate member of, the NYPD Shield. http://www.govtech.com/public-safety/Hennepin-County-Sheriffs-Office-Joins-Private-Sector-Partnership.html
Texas Police Department Implements Distance Measuring Radar Device to Catch Close Passers
The Houston Police Department recently began using a C3FT device on all patrol bicycles that will allow officers to ensure that vehicles keep to the minimum 3-foot distance when passing cyclists. The new technology will help officers enforce the city’s 2013 Safe Passing/Vulnerable Road User Ordinance.
3 Seattle Cops Shot as 7-Eleven Robbery Turns Deadly
Three Seattle police officers, one of whom was saved by her body armor, are recovering from wounds sustained while responding to a reported robbery at a convenience store on April 21. A 42-year-old female officer was reported in satisfactory condition after her armor apparently blocked a bullet; one of the two male officers shot in the incident received a flesh wound in the hand and was treated and released. The second took an initial shot in the face that was deflected downward; he was in serious but stable condition. The robbery suspect died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Gunfire Sensors Credited With Quick Arrest in Fresno Rampage
The Fresno Police Department gives credit to its gunshot detection system for the fast apprehension of Kori Ali Muhammad, the gunman accused of killing three people April 18 in what has been described as a hate crime vendetta. http://www.ctpost.com/business/technology/article/Gunfire-sensors-credited-with-swift-arrest-in-11087383.php
Vacant Colorado School Used to Train Law Enforcement for School Shootings
The Frank DeAngelis Center for Community Safety in Wheat Ridge, Colo., which is housed in a former elementary school, offers a one-of-a-kind training facility for dealing with school shootings. SWAT teams and other law enforcement officers from agencies across the nation have been using the training center, where a donated use-of-force simulator uses actors to recreate domestic violence situations and incidents involving mentally ill individuals, in addition to school shootings.
Greenville Police to Wear Body Cameras by the First Week of May
Police in Greenville, S.C., will soon be wearing body cameras. The city police department is one of the final law enforcement agencies in Greenville County to implement the technology. http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/04/12/greenville-police-wear-body-cameras-first-week-may/100365328/
New Computer-Aided Dispatch System Unites Local Public Safety Agencies
South Sound 911 and the Tacoma Fire Department in Washington have launched a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, officially uniting public safety agencies countywide. All local police and fire agencies are now united on a single dispatch platform. The countywide CAD project was a six-year undertaking, and brought all public safety call takers, dispatchers and first responders onto the same CAD system to facilitate emergency communications and interoperability.
Marquette University Establishes Milwaukee Area’s First Cyber Security Center
Marquette University has established a center that will focus on cyber security education, research and community involvement. The Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense will help prepare Marquette students for cyber security professions, provide education on topics related to cyber security, and host events. http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/education/2017/04/09/marquette-university-establishes-milwaukee-areas-first-cyber-security-center/99537324/
AT&T to Build Wireless Network for First Responders
The U.S. Department of Commerce has picked AT&T to build and operate a new nationwide broadband communications network exclusively for use by police, firefighters and other first responders. The creation of the network, which has been in the planning stages since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, will allow seamless communication among agencies and jurisdictions during emergencies. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/03/30/att-first-responders-network/
Anthony Greiter, social media coordinator for the Iowa State University police department, has used color and humor as he has built a Twitter following of more than 17,000. He says he has found humor the best way to reach his audience, which consists mainly of young university students; the department then can count on reaching a large audience when it needs to quickly spread important information related to emergencies and crimes.
Police Give Domestic Violence Victims Cell Phones for 911 Calls
Farmington, N.M., area residents are encouraged to donate older, unused cell phones and chargers to the Farmington Police Department. Victim advocates will pass them on to victims of domestic violence who have no other way to contact authorities. The phones should be factory reset. New Mexico had more than 17,500 reported incidents of domestic violence in 2015.
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