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In This Issue: August 17, 2017
NLECTC Spotlight

New NIJ Policing Strategic Research Plan

The rigors of policing have become increasingly complicated by the expanding roles of the police that require officers to protect the nation against foreign and domestic threats; combat and deter crime; and respond to calls for service from the public. At the same time, the police have been subjected to unprovoked and premeditated attacks and hostility from various members of the community that they are sworn to protect. All of these factors have resulted in a broader discussion involving the need to support policing through science.

The National Institute of Justice's new Policing Strategic Research Plan 2017-2022 delves into agency research goals and priorities for the next five years, including:

  • Promote and Support Research to Optimize Workforce Development for Officers and Civilian Personnel
  • Promote and Support Research on Policing Practices
  • Promote and Support Research on the Relationship Between Policing and Communities

Learn more about these strategic priorities and download the plan at To read the Director's Corner message about this research plan, go to

Report Offers Recommendations for Responding to Sexual Assault Cases

National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach, a new report from the National Institute of Justice, includes 35 recommendations that were designed to assist medical professionals, law enforcement, victim advocates, prosecutors and laboratories in implementing coordinated, collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches to sexual assault investigations.

The recommendations are rooted in a victim-centric, multi-disciplinary approach that encourages victim engagement and increases the potential for legal resolutions. They provide a roadmap for collecting, transferring, preserving, storing and analyzing sexual assault kits to help improve practices and protocols related to evidence inventory, tracking and audits, and communication systems.

To read the report, go to

Download the 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. To subscribe to JUSTINFO, visit

Latest AJAlert

Visit to read the latest edition of AJAlert, from the American Jail Association. Get caught up on news items and upcoming events.

Federal Funding Opportunities:

FY 2017 BJA: State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Information Sharing and Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative Technical Assistance Program FY 2017 Competitive Grant Announcement,
all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 17, 2017.

FY 2017 BJA: A National Training and Technical Assistance Initiative to Improve Police-Based Responses to People with Mental Health Disorders and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,
all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 22, 2017.

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant
Program FY 2017 State Solicitation
all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 25, 2017.

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program FY 2017 Local Solicitation,
all applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on September 5, 2017.

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

New Fontana Police Body Cameras Record Video — and Much, Much More
The Press-Enterprise, (08/08/2017), Ali Tadayon
The Fontana (Calif.) Police Department plans to equip its officers with state-of-the-art body cameras. The cameras are actually smartphones loaded with software developed by Silicon Valley-based Visual Labs. The company refers to the cameras as "Body-Worn Computers," since in addition to being able to take video, they can record audio, transmit officers' locations to their supervisors and live stream video. The department is using funds from a $546,502 U.S. Department of Justice grant, which was split in half between the Fontana Police Department and the San Bernardino Police Department.
Link to Article

First Responders Participate in Simulated Airport Crisis Exercise
Laramie Boomerang, (08/10/2017), Cameron Walker
First responders recently participated in an airport crisis drill at Laramie Regional Airport in Wyoming. The simulation involved an airplane's engine catching fire while taking off. Firefighters put out fire, coroners documented the deceased and law enforcement officials talked to volunteers playing the families and friends of the simulated victims. Participating agencies included the Albany County Sheriff's Office, the Albany County Coroner's Office and firefighters from the Albany County Fire District No. 1.
Link to Article

Cuyahoga County Fire Departments to Form Rescue Task Forces to Respond to Active Shooter Incidents, (08/10/2017), Karen Farkas
Fire departments throughout Cuyahoga County, Ohio, are creating rescue task forces comprising firefighters/paramedics who will rush into buildings with police during active shooter incidents to care for the injured. The county will use a $100,000 federal grant to purchase ballistic vests, ballistic helmets and medical trauma bags for fire departments in the county. During active shooter incidents, two paramedics will enter with two to four law enforcement officers, who will control where they can go.
Link to Article

Darien Police Department Body Camera Program Now in Use
Darien Times, (08/09/2017), Kevin Webb
Police in Darien, Conn., are among the latest law enforcement officers to begin wearing body cameras. The devices were fully implemented in June after a trial period, and each member of the force has been trained on their use. Police will use their cameras to regularly document encounters with the public. Body cameras are not in use during medical emergencies or psychological evaluations in order to protect the privacy of those involved.
Link to Article

Sheriff Mike Williams Scuttles Jacksonville's Red-Light Camera Program
Florida Times-Union, (08/11/2017), Christopher Hong
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams plans to end the city's red-light camera program next year, in part because he doesn't believe it reduces car accidents. Williams discussed his intentions to dismantle the city's network of red-light cameras during the City Council Finance Committee's review of the sheriff's office's proposed budget for next year. Since the city began using red-light cameras in 2012, statistics haven't definitively proven the technology reduces crashes at the 26 intersections outfitted with them.
Link to Article

Nebraska Lawmaker's Bill Aims to Hold Drone Operators Accountable for Their Crimes
Omaha World-Herald, (08/13/2017), Emily Nohr
A Nebraska state lawmaker has proposed legislation on use of drones. Examples from the proposal by state Sen. Carol Blood include: using a drone to enter or hide in a building without permission would be considered first-degree trespassing, operating a drone less than 300 feet above private property without permission would be considered second-degree trespassing, and operators could not use unmanned aircraft to interfere with a crime scene or fly within 150 feet of prisons or jails.
Link to Article

Madison Police Change Protocol to Deal With Fentanyl
WISC TV, (08/10/2017), Dave Delozier
The Madison Police Department in Wisconsin has changed the protocol used for dealing with suspected drugs being processed into evidence in order to improve officer safety and prevent exposure to dangerous drugs. Officers are now required to wear protective gloves, eye protection and masks when handling suspected drugs. They also must have a second officer with them, who could administer naloxone if an overdose occurs. Naloxone is used to reverse an opioid overdose.
Link to Article

Newberry County Introduces New Technology for Better Communication at Schools, Hospitals
WACH FOX57, (08/14/2017), Andrea Butler
Newberry County, S.C., has a new app to help hospitals and schools notify first responders of an emergency. The Rave Panic Button app allows teachers and staff at a facility to notify 911, first responders and everyone on campus when there is an active threat or other emergency on campus. Once the app is activated, the caller can communicate with 911 directly by voice or text. The technology is also being implemented at Newberry County Memorial Hospital.
Link to Article

Corrections News

UChicago Health Lab and Community Partners Open Center for Individuals Exiting Jail
UChicago News, (07/26/2017), Katelyn Silva
A Supportive Release Center in Chicago provides short-term, critical services to individuals with mental health issues who are exiting jail. The center, opened by the University of Chicago Health Lab in partnership with the Cook County Sheriff's Office, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities and Heartland Health Outreach, is located adjacent to the Cook County Jail and provides assistance for those who suffer from mental illness and are discharged from the system without clean clothes or a place to go. The center also connects individuals with social services and other resources. The center began serving released individuals on June 5 and so far has served about 70 people.
Link to Article

Department of Corrections Reveals Measures for a Safer Environment
KHGI Nebraska TV, (08/12/2017)
The Nebraska Department of Corrections Services is taking steps to improve safety in its facilities. For example, actions the agency has taken include increased searches of housing units, cells, common areas, kitchen workers and industries workers to prevent drug-induced violence and access to weapons; clinical treatment programs for inmates to target violence and criminal thinking; and training, equipment, procedures and ongoing assessments to prevent staff assaults.
Link to Article

Jails Trying to Stay as Creative as Inmates in Stopping Drug Trafficking, (08/12/2017), Bob Kasarda
Indiana jail officials are taking steps to keep illegal drugs out of correctional facilities. Birthday cards mailed to Porter County Jail inmates are copied, and the copies are then passed on to the inmates. Also, inmates no longer are allowed to receive books from the outside. Officials at the jail stepped up their inspections of mail after a discovery that drugs were being smuggled in using greetings cards, stamps, envelopes and books.
Link to Article

Roswell Killer Hazelwood 'Selfie' Posted on Instagram, But How?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, (08/11/2017), Alexis Stevens
The Georgia Department of Corrections is investigating an apparent "selfie" of convicted killer Jeffrey Hazelwood, which was posted on Instagram. Electronic recording devices aren't allowed in Georgia's prisons. The investigation began after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked prison officials about the image. In May, Hazelwood pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murdering two teenagers and was sentenced to life in prison. He is currently at Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville.
Link to Article

Woman Sues Firm, Cook County After Alleged Attack by Teen Wearing GPS Monitor
Chicago Tribune, (08/11/2017), Steve Schmadeke
A Chicago woman who was reportedly robbed and sexually assaulted in her home last fall is suing Cook County and a GPS-tracking contractor, claiming they failed to detect that one of the alleged assailants had left home four hours before the attack despite being under home confinement. News reports of the crime say the woman was sleeping when she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint by two boys, one 16 and another 15, while a third teenager held a knife and acted as a lookout. According to her lawsuit filed in Cook County circuit court, the 15-year-old had been ordered by a judge to wear a GPS anklet and remain on home confinement after being charged in juvenile court with robbery. Workers at Sentinel Offender Services failed to notice he had left his home four hours before the attack, according to the lawsuit.
Link to Article

When Prisoners Are a 'Revenue Opportunity'
The Atlantic, (08/10/2017), Brian Alexander
This article examines issues surrounding the use of video visitation in prisons, including costs and effects on in-person visits.
Link to Article

People With Mental Illness Reoffend Less If on Specialty Probation
University of California-Berkley, (08/09/2017)
A study out of the University of California-Berkley finds that treatment-oriented probation for people with mental illness sharply reduces repeat arrests. Researchers studied the supervision and outcomes of 359 offenders with mental illness, comparing those who had been placed on traditional probation against those on "specialty mental health probation," a program in which probation officers with mental health expertise use a more individualized, treatment-oriented approach. Their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association -- Psychiatry, show that 52 percent of traditional probationers were re-arrested over a two-year follow-up period, compared to 29 percent of specialty probationers.
Link to Article

Tablet Technology Beneficial for Pima County Jail Inmates, Officials Say, (08/07/2017), Zack Briggs
Tablets designed to help manage inmate behavior at the Pima County jail allow inmates to take classes and obtain education certificates. About 1,700 inmates currently use tablets. Capt. Sean Stewart with the Pima County Sheriff's Department said inmates' activity on the tablets is monitored around the clock through a server system and they do not have access to the internet.
Link to Article

Post-Traumatic Stress and Suicide in Corrections: How PA DOC is Addressing the Issue
InPublicSafety, (08/7/2017), Natasha Amaral, COVER Chairperson, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
This article discusses post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health issues among corrections officers and a new Pennsylvania Department of Corrections program called Corrections Outreach for Veteran and Employee Restoration (COVER). It is based on a program designed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons called the Bureau Buddy Program, which offers peer support to address wellness issues.
Link to Article

Internet of Incarceration: How AI Could Put an End to Prisons as We Know Them
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (08/14/2017), Antony Funnell for Future Tense
This article discusses how sophisticated technology could change the system of incarceration in Australia and other countries, and prison programs in Norway and Sweden that seek to create more humane prison environments.
Link to Article

SC Inmate Flashes Knife on Facebook Live
WCBD TV, (08/11/2017)
A South Carolina inmate serving a 10-year sentence for burglary has exposed flaws in a prison's security with social media posts. Jose Ariel Rivera posted a Facebook Live video while brandishing a knife. He is serving time at Evans Correctional Institution in Bennettsville. The South Carolina Department of Corrections is investigating. A prison spokesperson says the video is another example of the unfettered access cellphones give inmates have to the outside world. Several state leaders have been urging the Federal Communications Commission to allow prisons to block cellphone signals.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:

  • Collecting Footwear and Tire Impressions in Snow - On demand presentation
  • American Probation and Parole Association, 42nd Annual Training Institute, New York, NY, Aug. 27-30, 2017
  • Third World Congress on Probation, Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 12-14, 2017
  • International Association of Law Enforcement Planners Annual Conference San Diego, CA., Sept 12-15, 2017 (Click on the "Conference" tab for more details and training topics.)
  • 11th Annual National Missing and Unidentified Persons Conference, Atlanta, GA, Sept. 19-21, 2017
  • International Community Corrections Association, 25th Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, Oct. 29 - Nov. 1, 2017

For additional information on these events go to:

  • Threat Assessments: Preventing Targeted Acts of Violence (online webinar), Campus Safety Magazine, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2017, 2 p.m. Eastern Time
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security 2017 National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education, Oct.10-11, 2017, Salt Lake City, Utah, Free Information and Registration
  • 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

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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).