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March 10, 2016

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Questionnaire seeking feedback on experiences using the JUSTNET website.

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Call the NLECTC Information Hotline at 800-248-2742 or email

JUSTNETNews is a service of the Justice Technology Information Center, a component of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) System, a program the Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. We are always interested in our readers' comments and feedback about this service. Please send your comments, questions, or suggestions to

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Funding Assistance
NLECTC is offering tools and assistance to help Law Enforcement and Corrections agencies locate and apply for funding opportunities.

Federal Funding Opportunities:

Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories , Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 6, 2016

NOTE: Register to Attend a Webinar for NIJ’s “Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories” Solicitation

Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence to Exonerate the Innocent , Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 7, 2016

Developing Improved Means to Collect Digital Evidence, Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 14, 2016

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 2, 2016

W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Race and Crime, Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 16, 2016

Give Us Your Tech Ideas
We are actively seeking ideas to help us identify technology needs and requirements as part of the National Institute of Justice's Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation process.

NLECTC Spotlight

2016 Patrol Vehicle Report Available on JUSTNET

Visit to check out results from the Michigan State Police evaluation of 2016 model patrol vehicles. The purchase of patrol vehicles is one of the largest expenditures a law enforcement agency faces. For many years, police fleet administrators have had numerous choices to make when choosing a vehicle, including overall vehicle size, engine and transmission combinations and other performance-enhancing options, all of which can affect the overall capabilities of the vehicle. To further complicate the selection process, the environment (e.g., urban, suburban, rural) in which the agency operates can also play a significant role. MSP and NLECTC team up on an annual evaluation to help police fleet administrators with those difficult decisions.

You can download Police Vehicle Evaluation Model Year 2016 from

Visit to Read New Article on Rutgers' Text Messaging System

Stop by NLECTC's school safety website,, to read "Rutgers Takes Simple Approach to "Text a Tip," a new success story on how the university is using simple text messaging to encourage the campus community to reach out to police. While you're there, browse for information on resources, upcoming events and more.

New Orleans, St. Louis and Milwaukee Join DOJ Violence Reduction Network

New Orleans, St. Louis, and Milwaukee recently adopted specific crime-fighting strategies as they became part of the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). This initiative is a comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime to go along with the Attorney General's Smart on Crime Initiative.

Through VRN, DOJ enlists tactical and operational expertise available from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office on Violence Against Women.

VRN's core components include customized training and technical assistance; a strategic site liaison to guide the coordination of Justice Department resources; tools to enhance information sharing, including peer-to-peer exchanges; community practice collaboration among existing sites and an annual summit in September.
Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Plant DNA May Help Track Down Criminals
Newsweek, (03/02/2016), Christina Procopiou

Recent research conducted at Sam Houston University uses a method of plant DNA analysis that could help law enforcement agencies link separate cases of marijuana trafficking and identify its place of origin. Recent expansion of legalizing marijuana has created a challenge for law enforcement: blocking its movement into states where it remains illegal.
Link to Article

911 Texting Implemented in Blaine County
Idaho Mountain Express, (03/04/2016), Ryan Thorne

Blaine County (Idaho) Emergency Communications launched the capability to receive and send text messages on March 1, with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office advising residents to "call 911 if they can, and text if they must." The service is expected to be of special benefit to backcountry hikers faced with spotty cell service.
Link to Article

Lethbridge Police Recycle Old Shotguns Into ‘Less Lethal' Sock Guns
Toronto, (03/07/2016), Bill Graveland

The Lethbridge Police Service has found a new purpose for no-longer-used Remington 870 shotguns: The weapons have been converted into less lethal beanbag guns. The agency became interested in the concept following a number of recent cases in which officers were called on to calm down disturbed individuals.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Cell Tower Industry Taps Talent Pool of Ex-offenders
Chicago Tribune, (03/02/2016), Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

The Wireless Field Engineer Training Program is a collaborative effort between the nonprofit Safer Foundation and a Chicago-area cell tower site development contractor who is seeking to fill a gap in skilled workers with ex-offenders' need for stable employment. As the cellular industry continues to grow, the need for trained workers who can climb towers and perform upgrades exceeds the supply. The partnership hopes to start a mutually beneficial relationship between the two communities.
Link to Article

Court Ruling Puts Cheaper Prison Calls on Hold
ReCode, (03/07/2016), Ina Fried

A federal court has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission may have overstepped its bounds when it put rules in place limiting how much companies could charge for phone calls made by prisoners. The FCC had capped the cost of a 15-minute call at $3.15, less than one-fifth what calls previously cost in some states. The court did uphold restrictions on additional fees that added as much as an additional 40 percent to the cost of calls. Correctional facilities award monopoly rights to telecommunications providers; inmates do not have a choice of providers, but can only make calls via the contracted service.
Link to Article

Could Big Data Reduce Prison Population?
Frost Illustrated, (03/02/2016), Eric Easter

Offender 360, a new software and tracking system used by the state of Illinois, tracks which prisoners are awarded good conduct credits for GED education. Use of the system has resulted in 2,303 prisoners receiving 314,634 days-off credits since 2013, which has helped lead to a 10-percent reduction in the state's prison population through early release. The reduction has saved the state approximately $11 million.
Link to Article

Alcohol Monitoring: A Vital Part of Probation
National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime, (03/01/2016), The Honorable Peggy Fulton Hora (ret.)

This blog entry discusses the connection between substance abuse and crime, the need for some offenders to be monitored for continued abstinence compliance and various methods of conducting that monitoring.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:

  • Collecting Footwear and Tire Impressions in Snow - On demand presentation
  • Probation System Reform Symposium: Advancing Practice, Changing Lives, April 7-8, 2016, Boston, Ma.
  • Spring Conference on Correctional Health Care, National Commission on Correctional Health Care, April 9-12, 2016,
    Nashville, Tenn.
  • North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents 2016 Training Conference, April 12-15, 2016, Tulsa, Ok.
  • Corrections Technology Association 2016 Technology Summit, May 15-18, 2016, Scottsdale, Az.
  • Association of Paroling Authorities International 2016 Annual Training Conference, May 15-18, 2016, Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • American Jail Association 35th Annual Conference and Jail Expo, May 22-25, 2016, Austin, Texas
  • Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association (MASCA)
    2016 Annual Conference and Training Event, June 12-15, 2016, Ocean City, Md.
  • National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice 43rd Annual Conference and Training Institute, July 17-21, 2016, Dallas, Texas
  • 71st Annual International CEA Conference and Training Event,
    Correctional Education Association, July 31 – August 3, 2016,
    Long Beach, Ca.
  • American Correctional Association – 146th Congress of Correction, August 5-10, 2016, Boston, Ma.
  • American Probation and Parole Association's 41st Annual Training Institute, August 28-31, 2016, Cleveland, Oh.

The JUSTNETNews Mailing List is maintained by the Justice Technology Information Center, a component of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, supported by Cooperative Agreement 2014-IJ-CX-K004 awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Regular postings to JUSTNETNews include abstracted news articles on law enforcement and corrections technology topics, upcoming NLECTC and NIJ events, NLECTC services and activities, new publications, and other technology-related announcements. Please note that providing information on law enforcement and corrections technology or the mention of specific manufacturers or products does not constitute the endorsement of the U.S. Department of Justice or its component parts.

The National Institute of Justice is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART).