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June 2, 2016

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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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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

Visit to Read About Missouri's School Bus Driver Training

The state of Missouri offers training to help school bus drivers deal with confrontational situations, including active threats; read "Missouri School Bus Driver Training Emphasizes Situational Awareness, Communication Skills," the newest success story on, to learn more. While you're visiting the JTIC school safety site, browse for resources, upcoming events and more.

New Forensics Webinars Available

The NIJ Forensics Technology Center of Excellence has loaded two new archival webinars to its website, "What Could Happen When Prosecutors Don't Follow the Rules?" and "Microbial Forensics Webinar 2."

Anthony Graves, also known as Death Row Exoneree 138, spent 18.5 years in prison, 16 in solitary confinement, 12 on Texas Death Row, with two execution dates, for a crime he did not commit. Due in part to the work of The Innocence Network, Graves was vindicated and released in 2010. Learn more about his story in "What Could Happen When Prosecutors Don't Follow the Rules?", a 40-minute webinar available at
. This event was originally part of the 2015 Impression Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium.

 Course Materials for Introduction to Crime Mapping and Analysis Using ArcGIS 10.1 Released

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has released training materials for "Introduction to Crime Mapping and Analysis Using ArcGIS 10.1," developed by the NIJ Information and Geospatial Technologies Center of Excellence, which was operated through a cooperative agreement with Rand Corporation. This NIJ grantee updated the NIJ Crime Mapping and Analysis Program training course to reflect changes made from version 9.3.x to 10.1 of Esri's ArcGIS software. The course gives students tangible, usable skills they can immediately apply to their work environments. Although NIJ does not offer this course, law enforcement agencies can use these materials to develop their own crime mapping training. For more information, visit

 International Association of Chiefs of Police Offers Institute for Community-Police Relations

The IACP Institute for Community-Police Relations provides guidance and assistance to law enforcement agencies looking to enhance community trust by focusing on culture, policies and practices. Based on IACP National Policy Summit on Community-Police Relations and The Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, its mission is to advance a universal culture of cohesion and trust between police and the communities they serve by providing tools, resources and guidance to help build community trust and engagement, foster transparency and accountability, and safeguard officer well-being while reducing crime and increasing public safety.

For more information, visit

 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Nominations Now Being Accepted

May 31 marked the opening of the nomination period for the 2015-2016 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor (MOV). This medal is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer and is awarded by the President or Vice President, along with the Attorney General of the United States, to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage.

An act of valor is defined as:

  • Above and beyond the call of duty; and
  • Exhibiting:
    • Exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind.
    • Unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.

To receive the MOV, public safety officers must be nominated by the chief executive officer of their employing agencies, recommended by the bipartisan MOV Review Board and cited by the Attorney General. Nominations must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 31, 2016.

Visit the MOV website at to learn more.

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Police Departments in Smaller Cities Getting Real-time Street Surveillance Centers
Digital Trends, (05/24/2016), Bruce Brown

The new Real-Time Crime and Data Intelligence Center in Hartford, Conn., has a wall of high-resolution flat screens with live video feeds from the streets, license plate scanning and automatic gunshot detection. Sgt. Johnmichael O'Hare says in just a few months the center has already provided information that has assisted in hundreds of cases. Such centers once were the province of larger agencies only, but an increasing number of small cities have opened their own.
Link to Article
DHS Navigates the World of Vehicular Digital Forensics
Signal, (05/25/2016), George I. Seffers

Under Project iVe (eye-vee), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T's) Cyber Security Division has partnered with Berla Corporation of Annapolis, Md., to develop a motor vehicle digital forensics toolkit. Modern vehicles have an average of 70 computers that can reveal a wide variety of data from systems such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, navigation aids and various apps. Vehicles also store recent destinations, favorite locations, call logs, contact lists, text messages, emails, pictures, videos, social media feeds and navigation history, and some may record when and where vehicle lights are turned on; locations where doors are opened and closed; and where Bluetooth devices connected.
Link to Article

Law Enforcement Groups Train by Looking at Works of Art
KSAT 12, (05/24/2016), Stephanie Serna

Art of Perception and founder Amy Herman helps law enforcement officers around the country learn more about thinking outside the box through the study of works of art. Herman asks officers participating in her workshops to look at paintings as though they were looking at crime scenes.
Link to Article

Police App in Indiana Lets Residents Report Non-911 Incidents to Cops
eWeek, (05/27/2016), Todd R. Weiss

In Fishers, Ind., residents can download a new free mobile app called CrimeWatch that allows them to report suspicious incidents, erratic driving and other non-911 information via text message. The app, developed by a local resident, lets users submit photos, check off a box reporting specific types of concerns and submit reports that go directly to officers in the field. All users later receive a follow-up report from the department.
Link to Article

DC Police to Resume Tweeting Breaking News
WUSA, (05/31/2016), Garrett Haake

The 97,000 followers of @DCPoliceDept will once again receive breaking crime news via tweets, a spokesman for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has announced. MPD had originally stated its intention to move away from tweeting crime news to making the information available via the DC Alerts system on online Yahoo message boards. The decision had been criticized as causing the appearance that the department wanted to hide crime reports.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Babies Behind Bars: Should Newborns Do Time With Mom?, (05/25/2016), Collen Long for the Associated Press

The maximum-security Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York State is one of only eight facilities in the country that provide nurseries where inmates and their babies to live together. An estimated 1 in 25 women are pregnant when they enter prison, and many other countries mandate that mothers and newborns live together. Reaction to nursery programs in this country has been mixed.
Link to Article

Experts Question Validity of Tests Predicting Opioid Addiction Risk
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, (05/29/2016), Kristina Fiore

Bringing the nation's opioid addiction epidemic under control is a top priority for U.S. public health officials, as nearly 19,000 deaths related to prescription opioid painkillers and more than 10,000 deaths related to heroin occurred in 2014. Several companies are marketing tests that claim to test for a genetic bias toward addiction, but there are many concerns about the accuracy of the tests and their relative value.
Link to Article

Dutch Firm Trains Eagles to Take Down High-Tech Prey: Drones
Alaska Dispatch-News, (05/29/2016), Stephen Castle for the New York Times

In the Netherlands, eagles and other birds of prey are being trained to intercept and take down small, off-the-shelf unmanned aerial vehicles. Such small UAVs are being used to drop contraband into correctional facilities and conduct unwarranted surveillance; they also pose a danger to aircraft. The birds are trained to bring UAVs to the ground, eliminating risks of falling debris that occur with other, more destructive methods.
Link to Article

State Prison K-9 Officer First To Be Cellphone Detection Certified In U.S., (05/28/2016), Russell Hulstine

Riley, a stray dog originally donated to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and his handler recently became the first team in the nation certified in cellphone detection. According to the Oklahoma DOC, during the certification process Riley found 100 percent of cellphones hidden as part of the test, along with another phone that officials did not know was present.
Link to Article

GOP Governors Ask FCC to Address Illegal Prison Cellphones
ABC News, (05/24/2016), Meg Kinnard for the Associated Press

A group of 10 Republican governors has sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking permission for states to apply technology to stop the use of contraband cell phones in correctional facilities. Implicit in the letter is a desire to jam cellphone signals originating from within the facilities. A 1934 law says the FCC can grant permission to jam public airwaves only to federal agencies, and the cellular industry opposes allowing the use of localized jamming technology.
Link to Article

Machine Bias
Pro Publica, (05/23/2016), Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner

This article presents an in-depth look at Pro Publica's study of the reliability of tools that predict the likelihood of an arrestee's reoffending. Their research found the tools to be extremely inaccurate. Such tools, based on algorithms, are increasingly used in a number of states in determining sentencing and rehabilitation needs.
Link to Article

NIAAA Selects Winners of its Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge
National Institutes of Health News Release, (05/19/2016)

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has announced the winners of its Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge, a competition to design a discreet device capable of measuring blood alcohol levels in near real-time. The winning prototype and recipient of the $200,000 first prize was submitted by BACtrack, a company known nationally for designing and selling portable breath alcohol testers for consumer use and professional use. Their entry, the BACtrack Skyn, is worn on the wrist and offers continuous and non-invasive monitoring of a user's BAC.
Link to Article

Having a Parent Behind Bars Costs Children, States
Government Technology, (05/24/2016), Teresa Wiltz

Research continues to show that having a parent who is incarcerated can have a destabilizing effect on the estimated 1.7 million children in this country who are so affected. This effect can have consequences that include trauma and trouble in schools, homelessness and reliance on welfare and foster care. Some states are attempting to counter this effect with increased use of televisits or by placing the parent in a nearby correctional facility. Other potential remedies include providing emotional support and home services while the parent is incarcerated and developing better ways to reconnect parents and children after a sentence ends.
Link to Article

County Commissioners Agree to Support New Adult Probation Assessment Tool
The Sentinel, (05/18/2016), Jake Austin

In Cumberland County, Ohio, the Board of Commissioners recently voted to implement the use of the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), a proposed actuarial tool to be used for adult probation assessments. The results of this 35-question tool would provide an assessment of an individual's risk of re-offending in the future.
Link to Article

North Carolina Prisons Moving Away From Solitary Confinement
The News & Observer, (05/26/2016), Taylor Knopf

North Carolina has decreased the number of offenders kept in solitary confinement by nearly 50 percent as the state moves away from broad use of the practice. State Prison Commissioner David Guice said staff members are assaulted more often in locked-down units, and other states that have decreased the practice have seen a corresponding decline in assaults.
Link to Article

Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections to Discard Terms 'Offender,' 'Felon' in Describing Ex-prisoners
The Washington Post, (05/25/2016), John E. Wetzel

Secretary John E. Wetzel of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has announced the commonwealth will follow the federal government's lead and no longer use the terms "offender" and "felon" to describe individuals who have completed serving their sentences. In this letter to the Washington Post, he discusses why Pennsylvania is moving toward a similar policy.
Link to Article

Alleged Serial Rapist on GPS Monitoring Faces New Rape Charge
Braintree Patch, (05/25/2016), Daniel Libon

Steven Lent of Quincy, Mass., was recently indicted by a grand jury on rape charges that allegedly occurred while he was wearing a GPS monitoring device. Lent was free on bond while awaiting trial on charges that he raped five women in 2015. He allegedly forced an escort to perform a sex act while he held a knife to her throat, then told her he had no money.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:

  • Collecting Footwear and Tire Impressions in Snow - On demand presentation
  • 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.
New Publications

e-TechBeatJune 2016,
Justice Technology Information Center,

Development of a Lean Facility Design Roadmap for Design-Bid-Build Forensic Facilities,
NIJ Forensics Technology Center of Excellence,

National Institute of Justice Research Report: Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men,
National Institute of Justice,

Evaluating a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership and Field Experiment,
National Institute of Justice,


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).