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In This Issue: September 28, 2017
 
NLECTC Spotlight

Department of Justice Awards Nearly $59 Million to Combat Opioid Epidemic, Fund Drug Courts

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced $58.8 million to strengthen drug court programs and address the opioid epidemic nationwide. About $24 million in federal grants will be awarded to 50 cities, counties and public health departments to provide financial and technical assistance to state, local and tribal governments to create comprehensive diversion and alternatives to incarceration programs for those impacted by the opioid epidemic. These funds, awarded under the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance's Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program, also included funds from the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. An additional $3.1 million will be awarded by the National Institute of Justice for research and evaluation on drugs and crime. More than $22.2 million will be awarded to 53 jurisdictions to support the implementation and enhancement of adult drug courts and Veterans Treatment Courts.

The department is also awarding more than $9.5 million under several Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention grant programs, including the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Grant Program and the Family Drug Court Statewide System Reform Implementation Program. For more information, visit https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-awards-nearly-59-million-combat-opioid-epidemic-fund-drug-courts.
 
 
Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Texas Opts in to FirstNet Plan to Deliver a Wireless Broadband Network
MySanAntonio, (09/19/2017), Samantha Ehlinger for San Antonio Express-News
Texas is the latest state to opt in to FirstNet, a planned nationwide public safety broadband network. So far, 23 states have opted in. By the end of the year, it's expected that AT&T will provide pre-emption over its LTE network, meaning "fire, police and EMS will have dedicated access to the network when they need it," according to a FirstNet release from June.
Link to Article

Protective Vests Donated to Local Police Departments
Delaware County Network News, (09/19/2017), Kevin Tustin
The Vest-A-Cop Program under the Taylor Community Foundation has donated tactical ballistic vests to police departments in Delaware County, Pa. Police departments for 24 municipalities were awarded at least one vest.
Link to Article

Public-Safety Grant Awards Thousands to Tulsa Police, Other Local Agencies in Effort to Curb Crime
Tulsa World, (09/19/2017), Kyle Hinchey
Tulsa area law enforcement agencies have received hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a public safety grant from the state Attorney General's Office. The money helps pay for officers' overtime, technology upgrades and enhanced analytical capabilities. The Tulsa Police Department collected $296,500 and the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office, the Owasso Police Department and the Broken Arrow Police Department each received over $30,000.
Link to Article

Opioid Problem More Potent in New York
The Daily Gazette, (09/23/2017), Steven Cook
The number of items found by New York state police lab testing containing the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl has risen sharply over the past five years. Fentanyl is dangerous to users, and also can be absorbed through the skin, posing dangers to law enforcement and lab personnel. The state labs saw 17 cases in 2013, compared with 209 cases in 2016. The state police have four crime labs where they test evidence, including firearms, fingerprints and drugs.
Link to Article

Columbia 911 System Upgrades Roll Out in February
Columbia County Spotlight, (09/24/2017), Nicole Thill
A planned new emergency communications system will link four regional emergency communication centers in Oregon. Starting in February 2018, a new emergency communications and computer aided dispatch system will be linked to regional emergency communication centers in Columbia, Washington and Clackamas counties and the city of Lake Oswego. Key features of the system will be the ability to pull latitude and longitudinal data from cell phone calls to 911 centers that cannot provide a physical address for their emergency, and the ability to coordinate with dispatch centers across the four partnering agencies to reroute calls for service and send help quickly.
Link to Article

MSU Researchers Creating Fake Fingers to Test Fingerprint Recognition Systems
BiometricUpdate.com, (09/21/2017), Justin Lee
Researchers at Michigan State University are developing a fake finger that possesses multiple key properties of human skin to determine how secure biometric recognition systems are, according to a report by MSU Today. Researchers have used the fake finger to test two of the most common types of fingerprint readers to help determine their resilience to spoof attacks. Materials to create the fake fingers include conductive silicone, silicone thinner and pigments. The fake fingers will be used to test the recognition accuracy between different types of fingerprint readers.
Link to Article

Baltimore Expands Speed and Red Light Camera System
The Baltimore Sun, (09/25/2017), Luke Broadwater
Baltimore has expanded the number of the city's speed and red light camera system and the locations where they can be used. This is Baltimore's third attempt at running a speed camera system, after previous cameras were shut down amid accuracy concerns. The new speed cameras, which have issued more than 36,000 citations since they were reinstated in August, will now be located in 21 school zones, instead of 14. The new red light cameras, which have issued nearly 2,000 fines this year, will now be located at 29 locations instead of eight.
Link to Article

‘Invest in a Vest': Safety Equipment Arrives for Lewiston Police Officers
Niagara Frontier Publications, (09/25/2017), J. Maloni
The Lewiston Police Department in New York has received 24 new tactical ballistic vests. Each vest contains a metal plate, weighs close to 30 pounds, and is rated level IV. The vests were financed through a community initiative called "Invest in a Vest."
Link to Article

Corrections News

Department of Corrections Trains Bloodhounds in Williams
Williams News, (09/19/2017), Loretta Yerian
Around 100 officers, handlers and instructors recently participated in annual dog handler training with Arizona's Department of Corrections K-9 units, tactical team and chase teams. Instructors conducted training with bloodhounds, including scenarios on robberies, search and rescue and lost child. At the DOC prison complexes, the dogs are trained for emergency calls, contraband detection and locating escaped inmates.
Link to Article

DMV Connect Program Preparing Offenders for Release With IDs
WRIC, (09/21/2017), Evanna Armour
A program in Virginia to help offenders receive ID cards when they are released recently helped 26 more offenders. The DMV Connect program is a traveling outreach program that serves Virginians unable to make it to a DMV office. Since it began in 2012, the program has processed ID cards for more than 23,000 offenders at 82 state, local and federal correctional facilities.
Link to Article

Maryland Boosting Incentives to Recruit Correctional Officers
The Baltimore Sun, (09/20/2017), Michael Dresser
Maryland will offer a $5,000 recruitment bonus to new correctional officers to ease a problem with vacancies in the state prison system. According to a department notice, Stephen T. Moyer, the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, will announce that the department will offer any recruit who completes training at its academy a $2,000 bonus. Officers who successfully complete their one-year probationary period will be given an extra $3,000.
Link to Article

Contra Costa County Permanently Halts Fees For Parents of Juvenile Offenders
NBC Bay Area, (09/19/2017), Gillian Edevane
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has approved permanently repealing fees levied against the parents of juvenile offenders. Under the Juvenile Cost of Care Fee, the fine was imposed on parents whose child was incarcerated at Juvenile Hall in Martinez or Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron. Parents or legal guardians were billed up to $30 per day of lockup and $17 per day for an electronic monitoring system worn during probation. The fee was halted in October 2016 while the Board debated whether to continue it, lessen it, or repeal it completely.
Link to Article

Killing of Reagan Tokes Sparks Legislation Intended to Fix System
The Columbus Dispatch, (09/21/2017), Jim Siegel
Legislators in Franklin County, Ohio, plan to introduce legislation to address problems with how violent criminals are released from prison and tracked. The effort is spurred by the murder of a female Ohio State student earlier this year. Police were led to the man charged in the case by a cigarette left in the victim's car, although he was wearing a GPS tracker as part of parole. Under the initial proposal, violent felons would be sentenced to an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum and maximum. The bill would also require every felon with a GPS monitor to have an inclusionary restriction. Within two years, the state must establish a statewide database of parolee GPS information and require third-party vendors to provide crime-scene correlation information that can interface with the database.
Link to Article

Inmates Refurbish Police Vehicles
Greenfield News, (09/21/2017), Lourdes Villarreal
The Correctional Training Facility at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, Calif., has been training inmates to refurbish local vehicles, including those for the Greenfield Police Department. The refurbished police vehicles become unmarked cars that officers will use to go to court and trainings and attend to other administrative duties.
Link to Article

Prison Reassignment Optimization Model Saves PA Estimated $2.9 Million
Phys.org, (09/18/2017)
An optimization model is helping Pennsylvania's Department of Corrections streamline the assignment of inmates to the state's 25 correctional institutions. The model developed by engineers at Lehigh's P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science can make hundreds of inmate assignments in a few minutes. Corrections officials say the Inmate Assignment Decision Support System has "transformed" the inmate assignment process and in the long run could shorten prison stays and reduce recidivism by giving inmates more timely access to the treatment programs they need to earn parole.
Link to Article

Case Asks If It's Constitutional to Require Someone on Probation to Remain Drug-Free
WBUR, (09/25/2017)
This article discusses an upcoming case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that asks if it is constitutional to require someone on probation to remain drug free.
Link to Article

Colorado Attorney General Appeals Sex Offender Registry Court Decision
Denver Post, (09/13/2017), Kirk Mitchell
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says she intends to appeal a decision by a federal judge in Denver who ruled that Colorado's sex offender registration law violates the constitutional rights of three sex offenders. In August, a U.S. District Court judge found that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the due-process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Link to Article

New Drug Test Can Detect Cocaine in a Fingerprint in Seconds
CNBC, (09/22/2017), Robert Ferris
A team of researchers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands has developed a simple paper-based test that can detect in seconds whether a person has recently been using cocaine. The technique involves "paper spray mass spectrometry," which allows researchers to determine the identity of a substance by measuring the mass of its molecules. The method can potentially be applied to a variety of substances.
Link to Article

Why Many Deaf Prisoners Can't Phone Home
Wired, (09/19/2017), Christie Thompson
This article discusses issues surrounding technology used by deaf prison inmates to communicate with family.
Link to Article

 
Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:
https://www.justnet.org/calendar/calendar.html

  • International Community Corrections Association, 25th Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, Oct. 29 - Nov. 1, 2017

For additional information on these events go to:
https://schoolsafetyinfo.org/events_more.html

  • 2017 National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education U.S. Department of Homeland Security and University of Utah, Oct. 10-11, 2017, Free information and registration at https://www.dhs.gov/nttx
 
New Publications

Michigan State Police Vehicle and Motorcycle Evaluations Help Inform Purchasing Decisions,
Justice Technology Information Center,
https://www.justnet.org/pdf/00-Vehicle-and-Motorcycle-Evaluations-IACP-flyer_EVO.pdf

Fostering Innovation in U.S. Law Enforcement: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for Improving Law Enforcement Operations and Outcomes,
National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative,
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1814.html

 
 
 
 

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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).