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In This Issue: April 12, 2018
NLECTC Spotlight

National Institute of Justice Announces Changes to the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program Solicitation

NIJ has made significant changes to both the open, fiscal year 2018 formula and competitive solicitations for the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. The agency strongly encourages potential applicants to review the revised solicitations carefully. The deadline for applications under these funding opportunities remains April 30, 2018.

Download the revised solicitations:

Any questions concerning these solicitations should be submitted to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service: (800) 851-3420; TTY at (301) 240-6310 (for hearing impaired only); email; fax (301) 240-5830; or web chat See also's solicitation FAQ page at

Office for Victims of Crime Commemorates National Crime Victims' Rights Week

The Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime will present 12 awards to recognize individuals and organizations from across the nation for their outstanding services on behalf of crime victims during the National Crime Victims' Service Awards ceremony on Friday, April 13. The ceremony is part of OVC's recognition of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 8-14.

Read About the NIJ Certification Mark in the Latest Issue of Sheriff & Deputy

An article by a JTIC staff writer, "Look for the Label," which focuses on the NIJ Certification Mark and the NIJ Compliance Testing Program, appears in the March/April 2018 issue of the National Sheriffs' Association Sheriff & Deputy magazine. You can read the article at

New Article: Defining the Difficulty of Fingerprint Comparisons

Fingerprint comparisons are often portrayed as straightforward in television crime shows, but the forensic fingerprint community knows that latent print comparisons can be a complex process with significant variations in the degree of difficulty involved in specific comparisons. A recent project funded by the National Institute of Justice addressed this degree of difficulty issue by trying to find an objective, measurable metric to determine how difficult it would be to measure a particular set of fingerprints. Access the article about the project at

Firearm Noise Exposures & Hearing Loss Prevention Webinar

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will sponsor a webinar on May 4, 2018 at 11 a.m. EDT on firearms and hearing loss prevention. The event features an evaluation of a variety of firearms, hearing protection devices and firearm suppressors for the noise levels that they produce at the ear and for bystanders. The noise levels of these firearms and the noise reduction of hearing protection devices and firearm suppressors will be discussed. In addition, various strategies for reducing noise exposures at the ear and in outdoor and indoor firing ranges will be presented. For more information and to register for the webinar, go to

Report on Mass Attacks in Public Spaces

The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center has released a report, Mass Attacks in Public Spaces - 2017. The study focused on 28 incidents carried out in public places in the United States in 2017 during which three or more persons were harmed. The report takes an in-depth look into the commonalities of the attackers, which include location of attack, weapons used, gender, age, substance abuse, criminal history, mental health, motives, targeting, stressors and communications. NTAC examined the incidents to identify key themes for enhancing threat assessment and investigative practices. To read the report, go to

Latest Issue of JUSTINFO

The newest issue of JUSTINFO, the electronic newsletter from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, is available at Read the latest news from the Office of Justice Programs' agencies that partner in supporting NCJRS, check on funding opportunities, and link to publications and announcements on upcoming webinars and events. To subscribe to JUSTINFO, visit

Federal Funding Opportunities:

For a list of all NIJ funding opportunities, go to:

For a list of all OJP funding opportunities, go to:

Funding Update: Two School Safety Solicitations Canceled. The National Institute of Justice has canceled both Comprehensive School Safety Initiative and Research and Evaluation of Technologies to Improve School Safety solicitations. With the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, the funding planned for these solicitations is no longer available for research and evaluation. Instead, it will be used for other purposes under the Stop School Violence Act of 2018. Any questions should be submitted to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service: 1-800-851-3420; TTY at 301-240-6310 (for hearing impaired only); email; fax 301-240-5830; or web chat

Fiscal Year 2018 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), all applications are due March 20, 2018.

Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 6, 2018.

Communications Technologies Research and Evaluation for Law Enforcement and Corrections Applications, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 23, 2018.

Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 23, 2018.

Research and Evaluation in Corrections, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 23, 2018.

Artificial Intelligence Technology Applied Research and Development for Law Enforcement Applications, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 30, 2018.

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Formula, all registrations and applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 30, 2018.

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Competitive, all registrations and applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 30, 2018.

Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 7, 2018.

Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 7, 2018.

DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program (Formula), all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 7, 2018.

Research and Evaluation on the Administration of Justice, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 14, 2018.

Understanding the Impacts of Policing Strategies and Practices, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 14, 2018.

Research and Evaluation on Prevention and Mitigation of Domestic Pathways to Terrorism, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 21, 2018.

Research on Reducing Violence in Communities, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 21, 2018.

Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence-Inventory, Tracking, and Reporting Program (SAFE-ITR), all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 21, 2018.

Research and Evaluation on Trafficking in Persons, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 22, 2018.

Criminal Justice Testing and Evaluation Consortium, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 29, 2018.

Criminal Justice Requirements and Resources Consortium, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on May 29, 2018.

Research and Evaluation on Promising Reentry Initiatives, all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 6, 2018.

Federal Funding Webinars:

Funding Webinar: Research and Evaluation on the Administration of Justice, April 04, 2018, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

Recording Available: OJP FY 2018-19 Tribal Funding Policy Webinar

Federal Funding Resources:

OJP Funding Resource Center: Find current opportunities, solicitation requirements, forms and worksheets, and post-award instructions to help as you apply for and manage OJP awards.

DOJ Program Plan: See summary details of the funding opportunities each DOJ grant-making component is expecting to release or has released in the current fiscal year.

DOJ Grants Financial Guide: Learn about the laws, rules and regulations that affect the financial and administrative management of an OJP award.

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Pelham Police Department Debuts New Drone
Patch, (04/03/2018), Michael Seale
The Pelham Police Department in Alabama has acquired a second drone. The device is equipped with a low-light and thermal imaging camera, and uses will include search and rescue operations, suspect apprehension, and crime scene and traffic crash investigation.
Link to Article

New Distracted Driving Law Proposed; Citations Across Georgia Will Change
WTVM, (04/04/), Chandler Morgan
Legislation passed by Georgia lawmakers would make it easier for law enforcement to cite drivers in Georgia for distracted driving. The legislation, which has gone to the governor for signature, requires hands-free operation of a cell phone, and drivers are not allowed to maneuver a GPS system while driving.
Link to Article

Why Plano Police Officers Are Using Thermal Cameras on Patrol
WFAA, (04/03/2018), Matt Howerton
Police in Plano, Texas, are using thermal cameras attached to spotlights of patrol cars. The cameras connect to an officer's laptop inside the car, and can help police find suspects in the dark. Officers also use the cameras during traffic investigations to determine where skid marks are or if a person applied the brakes before a collision. Weapons used during crimes have also been recovered with the cameras.
Link to Article

Akron Firefighters and Medics Will Start Wearing Ballistic Vests and Helmets
WOIO, (04/05/2018)
Firefighters and medics in Akron, Ohio, are now wearing ballistic-resistant vests and helmets when they are called out to a violent or potentially violent situation. The protective equipment was purchased using a combination of city funds and a grant.
Link to Article

Baltimore County Announces Increased Funding for School Security, Safety
WBAL (04/05/2018), Saliqa A. Khan
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has proposed a budget increase to include more than $8 million for additional school security and mental health resources. The money, included in the annual proposed budget, would be used for 106 additional positions for school counselors, social workers, psychologists, health assistants, bus attendants and police school resource officers.
Link to Article

Maine Law Enforcement Officials Warn of Bad Heroin After Overdoses
Portland Press Herald, (04/55/2018), Dennis Hoey
Maine law enforcement officials are warning of bad batches of heroin after nine overdoses in four counties were reported in one night. Police are assuming the heroin was laced with fentanyl, which is far more powerful than heroin, the Associated Press reported. The AP reported that all of the victims were revived with the overdose antidote Narcan. Law enforcement arrested three people in connection with three heroin overdoses in Washington County.
Link to Article

SPS Considers Adding Metal Detectors, Armed Guards, Cameras at Every Door
Springfield News-Leader, (04/08/2018), Claudette Riley
Metal detectors, bulletproof glass, exterior door alarms, armed security guards, a text tip line and panic buttons are among the ideas to improve safety in public schools in Springfield, Mo. The ideas will be considered as the school district develops a plan to improve safety in the 2018-2019 school year.
Link to Article

Arlington Police Implement New Dispatch Program
Wicked Local Arlington, (04/09/2018)
In Arlington, Mass., all wireless 911 calls dialed within the town's borders will go directly to the Arlington Police Department, rather than to a regional dispatch center. Participation in the state's new Wireless Direct program should shorten public safety response times.
Link to Article

FBI Shares New Tool to Help Police and Public Catch Thieves
KSDK, (04/10/2018), Rachel Menitoff
In the past month, the police department in St. Peters, Mo., has begun using a new software tool made available by the FBI to pause, zoom in and include graphics in surveillance video posted for public viewing. The software allows police to highlight characteristics that may make an individual stand out, such as a tattoo, and has already proved useful in helping identify suspects in several cases.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Missouri Prisons Go Tobacco Free
KY3, (04/04/2018)
Missouri prisons became tobacco free on April 1. The ban is for both offenders and people who work or volunteer in state corrections facilities. The ban includes outdoor areas, as well as inside all buildings and vehicles owned or leased by the department. There will be a designated smoking area for employees and visitors outside the department facilities and buildings. Nicotine Replacement Therapy will be available to employees and offenders.
Link to Article

Inmates Older Than 60 Could Get Parole Under New Plan to Ease Prison Crowding
Greenville News, (07/07/2018), Tim Smith
A bill proposed in the South Carolina state legislature would allow some inmates who are age 60 or older to seek parole once they have served half their sentence. The bill would make a number of significant changes in the areas of sentencing, prison release, and parole and probation supervision.
Link to Article

N.J. Inmates May Soon Be Eligible for State Education Aid
NJ Advance Media, (04/07/2018), Brent Johnson
A bill in the New Jersey state legislature would allow inmates to receive state aid for education courses. About 550 of the state's prisoners take college courses, and the costs are paid through federal Pell Grants and philanthropic funds. Inmates are currently banned from receiving state grants and scholarships.
Link to Article

Locking Out Impaired Driving
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, (03/29/2018)
This article looks at the positive impact that can be attributed to requiring all impaired-driving offenders to install alcohol interlocks. A new study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety concludes that such laws reduce the number of impaired drivers in fatal crashes by 16 percent, and if implemented nationwide, would save 500 lives every year.
Link to Article

New Study Could Aid PA Dept. Of Corrections With Efforts to Combat Recidivism
WESA 90.5, (04/06/2018), Kathleen J. Davis
A new study by the University of Maryland, commissioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, has found that inmates who willingly relocated away from places where they formerly committed crimes were seven percent less likely to be rearrested/reincarcerated. The department is considering offering relocation support through halfway houses as a new policy, although inmates will not be forced to relocate.
Link to Article

A Personalized Approach to Probation Saved Arizona $461 Million
PBS News Hour, (04/07/2018), Melanie Saltzman and Christopher Booker
This transcript presents an in-depth look at several probation and parole cases in Arizona, a state that made drastic changes to its policies and procedures in 2008. In the next eight years, the state saw a 29 percent decrease in probation violations and an accompanying 21 percent decline in arrests of people on probation. The state says it has saved more than $461 million since 2009 due to fewer persons being imprisoned.
Link to Article

Drones Are Dropping Contraband Into Prisons. NC Is Looking for Ways to Stop Them.
News&Observer, (04/05/2018), Elizabeth Anne Brown
A Duke University professor, who is a former Navy fighter pilot and international expert on drones, is working on a system of specialized microphones that would enable North Carolina prison officials to "hear" drones that may possibly be about to drop contraband into correctional facilities. The microphones would be tied into an app that would alert officials of nearby drone flights and enable them to attempt to intercept delivery.
Link to Article

States Move to Ban Fake Urine, a New Challenge for Drug Testing Amid an Abuse Epidemic
Washington Post, (04/07/2018), Katie Zezima
States are moving to enact laws banning fake urine, which is readily available over the Internet and in venues such as truck stops at a cost of approximately $40 or less. Drug users use the substance to try to pass screening exams administered by law enforcement and employers.
Link to Article

Early Childhood Incarceration Is Linked to High Rates of Severe Physical and Mental Health Issues in Adulthood
Medical Xpress, (03/30/2018), Ryan Hatoum
According to a study by UCLA researchers recently published in the International Journal of Prisoner Health, more than 21 percent of individuals incarcerated before the age of 13 reported poor general health in adulthood. In comparison, only 13 percent of persons incarcerated later in life and 8 percent of those never incarcerated reported poor general health. Many countries have begun placing children in alternative rehabilitation programs and increasing the minimum age at which they can be incarcerated.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information regarding Law Enforcement, Corrections and Courts events go to:

  • 37th Annual American Jail Association Conference, Sacramento, CA, April 21-25, 2018
  • International Association of Law Enforcement Planners (IALEP) - Police Planner's Course, Scottsdale, AZ, April 30 - May 4, 2018,
    For information and registration, visit
  • 13th Annual National School Safety Conference & Exposition, Omni Champions Gate Resort & Spa, Orlando, FL, July 23-27, 2018
  • 43rd Annual American Probation and Parole Association Training Institute, Philadelphia, PA, July 29–August 1, 2018
  • 148th Congress of Correction - American Correctional Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN, August 2-7, 2018
  • 30th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Dallas, TX, August 13-16, 2018

For additional information regarding School Safety events go to: (calendar events listed on the right hand side of the page).


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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-K404 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).