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September 29, 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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Federal Funding Opportunities:

Graduate Research Fellowship in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, application due date is November 21, 2016 11:59 p.m.

Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, application due date is November 21, 2016 11:59 p.m.

Real-time Crime Forecasting Challenge, application due date is February 28, 2017 11:59 p.m.

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

Smart Policing Initiative to Join Annual Global Police Tweet-a-thon

The Bureau of Justice Assistance's Smart Policing Initiative will join the 6th Annual Global Police Tweet-a-thon on Friday, September 30, to promote discussion on police-community collaboration. The Tweet-a-thon is co-hosted by SMILE (Social Media the Internet and Law Enforcement). You can learn more and sign up to participate here:

In 2016, SPI, in cooperation with the BJA Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program, conducted a series of regional collaboration workshops with law enforcement and community stakeholders to examine the challenges and successes in police-community collaboration in the post-Ferguson era. During the upcoming Tweet-a-thon, SPI will share police and community collaboration principles learned from this workshop series from @SmartPolicing, so be sure to follow and join the conversation here:!

Issue No. 277 of NIJ Journal Released

The latest issue of the NIJ Journal features articles on the prevalence of campus sexual assault in the United States, a time of transformation in forensic science, cognitive behavioral therapy in the area of criminal justice, violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men, and more. You can download the new issue from

U.S. Department of Justice Awards Over $20 Million to Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Programs

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced awards totaling over $20 million to 106 state, city, tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies to establish and enhance law enforcement body-worn camera programs across the United States. The awards, funded under the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA) Fiscal Year 2016 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program, will help law enforcement organizations implement body-worn camera policies, practices and evaluation methods to make a positive impact on the quality of policing in individual communities. Under this grant announcement, BJA awarded over $16 million to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, as well as a $3 million supplemental award to continue support for body-worn camera training and technical assistance. Read more at

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

NYPD Will Add Cameras to Prisoner Transport Vans
Gothamist, (09/21/2016), Gaby Del Valle

The New York City Police Department plans to retrofit all 110 prisoner transport vans already in service with security cameras, at a cost of $2,100; new vans coming online will also carry the equipment. A department spokesperson said this is not a direct result of the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore in spring 2015, but rather part of an effort to improve prisoner and officer safety.
Link to Article

Miami-Dade High School Preparing Students for Law Enforcement Careers
Education on 6, (09/21/2016), Ari Odzer

Law Enforcement Officers Memorial High School, located adjacent to the Miami Police Department, enrolls fewer than 500 students in three core disciplines: forensics, courts or homeland security. The students, all of whom choose to attend the school, graduate with an AA degree and certification that allows them to enroll in a four-year institution of higher learning or attend a police academy.
Link to Article

Nederland Police Using Beanbag Rounds to Move Wildlife Out of Town
Fox 31 Denver, (09/21/2016), Kyle Horan

The police department in Nederland, Colo., plans to use bean bag rounds to move elk, moose and other large wildlife out of inhabited areas, reducing the likelihood of the animals' becoming comfortable around humans. Wildlife can destroy property, and interactions with humans often end badly. The town has had 48 incidents involving animals in the past two years, and the decision to use the bean bags is based in part of their successful use by other Colorado agencies.
Link to Article

NFCA/E-ISAC Rapid Deployment Project
Information Sharing Environment, (09/13/2016), Fred Hintermister (Blog)

The Office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) is working with the National Fusion Center Association (NFCA) to examine the possibility of using the National Fusion Center network to convene electrical infrastructure subject-matter experts who need rapid access to classified data or communications systems in the event of an emergency. These localized information-sharing hubs bring together federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners, collaborating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Depending on the size and nature of a cyberterrorism incident, the network could host the SMEs and provide information needed to help inform their recommendations.
Link to Article

Ocoee Police Improves Crime Analysis With New Software
West Orange Times & Observer, (09/25/2016), Gabby Baquero

For a yearly subscription cost of approximately $700, the Ocoee Police Department has begun subscribing to Internet-based software that allows officers to create their own area-specific crime maps. For example, a patrol sergeant could use the tool to improve duty assignments in a specific area. Also, area residents can use an interactive feature on the website to search the database and to set up personalized text alerts.
Link to Article

Can 'Predictive Policing' Prevent Crime Before It Happens?
Science, (09/28/2016), Mara Hvistendahl

Homewood, a predominantly black area of Pittsburgh, will be the pilot area for the city's predictive policing tool, CrimeScan, starting in October. As part of the project, patrol vehicle laptops will display maps showing locations where crime is likely to occur, based on algorithms developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University. The algorithms draw on fields as diverse as seismology and epidemiology, and may help reduce bias in policing as they replace less scientific methods of determining crime patterns. However, citizens groups are concerned they may perpetuate bias in new ways.
Link to Article

Man vs. Machine: L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Use Robot to Snatch Rifle From Barricaded Suspect, End Standoff
Los Angeles Times, (09/15/2016), Richard Winton and Matt Hamilton

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies used a robot to grab a rifle from a suspect and end a standoff in the high desert outside the city. The man, suspected of killing one person and robbing two others, hid in a shrubbery-covered berm in a dark field. When the deputies deployed the robot to give them a better look at the suspect, they realized the rifle was lying at his feet. While deputies in an armored vehicle approached from the front and distracted him, the robot grabbed the rifle from behind. It was the first such use of the robot by the department.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Nebraska Prisons to Launch Sentence-Calculating Software
Kansas City Star, (09/21/2016), Grant Schulte of Associated Press

The Nebraska Department of Corrections has begun using a new software program to automatically calculate prisoners' release dates. The software should help the department avoid continuation of widespread release date errors, which resulted in hundreds of inmates not completing their full court-ordered sentences.
Link to Article

5 Investigates on Suboxone -- the New Jailhouse Drug of Choice
WCVB5, (09/23/2016), Kathy Curran

Large amounts of contraband prescription opiate Suboxone are finding their way into correctional facilities in Massachusetts. A prescription drug intended to help fight opiate addiction, the drug is easy to smuggle because large quantities of the strips fit into very small packages.
Link to Article

Report: Probation, Parole Sentences Decrease Without Risking Public Safety, (09/04/2016), Megan Favignano

Individuals convicted of lower-level, usually nonviolent, felonies in Missouri can earn early discharge credits from probation or parole. These offenders can shorten their sentences by 30 days for every calendar month they follow the conditions of their sentences, and according to a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, they are not re-offending at a higher rate than individuals who serve their full sentences. The program was created under the 2012 Justice Reinvestment Act, which aimed to reduce the incarceration of people convicted of lower-level crimes while investing the resulting savings into alternatives to incarceration.
Link to Article

NC Offenders Tampering With Monitoring Devices on the Rise, Officials Say, (09/23/2016), David Hurst

In North Carolina, nearly 3,500 offenders are monitored via tracking devices, an increase from 876 just five years ago. The North Carolina Department of Corrections says there has been a corresponding increase in device tampers, with records showing nearly 800 recorded tampers so far this year. Although one of those came from an offender who cut off his device to commit a triple murder, a spokeswoman for the DOC says the majority of those apparent tampers came from wear and tear, rather than deliberate attempts to remove a device.
Link to Article

California State Sheriffs' Association Says In-person Visits Cost Too Much
23ABC News Bakersfield, (09/21/2016)

The president of the California State Sheriffs' Association has spoken out against a proposed measure that would require jails to allow in-person visits, even if they have video visitation programs. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood says not allowing in-person visits is a question of safety, because those visits are too rife with opportunities for the introduction of contraband into a facility. The bill is waiting for approval or veto from Gov. Jerry Brown.
Link to Article

Alabama Prison Guards Went on Strike, Department of Corrections Confirms, (09/26/2016), Connor Sheets

The failure of nine third-shift correctional officers to report to work Saturday at Alabama's William C. Holman Correctional Facility has been claimed as a strike in support of inmate laborers by an inmate advocacy group. Inmates at various facilities across the country have been on strike for two weeks to protest "inhumane living conditions and unfair employment practices in prisons."
Link to Article

Number of Texas Prison Inmates Coming Out as Transgender at All-time High
Dallas Morning News, (09/27/2016), Lauren McGaughy

The number of individuals in Texas prisons and jails identifying as transgender stands at 333 people, an approximately 500-percent increase from the 67 reported two years ago. Under new federal rules that seek to reduce inmate sexual assault, special accommodations for transgender inmates include prohibiting strip or cavity searches by a guard of the opposite gender, allowing transgender inmates who have been the targets of violence to be housed in protective custody and requiring that officials at least consider an inmate's gender identity when deciding on housing assignments. Also, In August 2015, the Texas Department of Corrections said it would expand access to hormone therapy for transgender inmates.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:

  • Collecting Footwear and Tire Impressions in Snow - On demand presentation
  • International Community Corrections Association: 24th Annual International Research Conference, Toronto, Canada, October 2-5, 2016
  • National Conference on Correctional Health Care, October 22-27, 2016 Las Vegas, NV
  • School Safety Leadership Academy, November 10-11, 2016, Palm Springs, CA.
  • American Probation and Parole Association: Winter Training Institute,
    Reno, NV, January 8-11, 2017
  • American Correctional Association Conference, San Antonio, TX,
    January 20-25, 2017
  • 2017 National Conference on Bullying, March 1-3, 2017, Orlando, FL.

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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).