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In This Issue: October 19, 2017
NLECTC Spotlight

National Institute of Justice to Hold Saturday Session at IACP

On Saturday, Oct. 21, NIJ will host the Fourth Annual Saturday Session at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Centered around the theme "What Works and What Matters in Policing," the session includes the following panels:

  • Platform for Change: Strengthening Policing Through Evidence-Based Learning With NIJ's Policing Platform.
  • Research in the Ranks: Empowering Officers to Answer Your Agency's Research Questions.
  • Protecting Our Protectors: Technology and Training to Advance Officer Safety.

Learn more by reading the column by NIJ Director David Mulhausen at

Template for a "Standard Operating Policy (SOP) Guidance for Law Enforcement Use of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)" Available From Justice Technology Information Center

In recent years, small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) have emerged as a new and viable public safety/law enforcement tool. This policy guidance is suggested for law enforcement agencies to use as a general template for developing and enhancing their internal management and operational activities regarding the integration of sUAS into their missions. It should not be construed as the concise final program guidance for any agency, but rather as an example from which agencies can develop and implement their own unique sUAS program. To obtain a copy of the template, send an email to from a legitimate government agency/law enforcement agency email address (no Yahoo, Gmail, etc.).

Visit to Read About Free School Safety Curriculum

Recently posted on, JTIC's school safety website, "Colorado Curriculum Gains National Recognition" informs readers about the Youth Education and Safety in Schools program developed by the Douglas County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office. Y.E.S.S. has been adapted and made available free by the Digital Futures Initiative.

While you're visiting, browse other success stories, check out a calendar of events and more.

Wrongful Convictions and DNA Exonerations: Understanding the Role of Forensic Science

Unlike any other single scientific discovery, advances in DNA technology have improved how we investigate cases and interpret forensic evidence. Because DNA can provide factually irrefutable evidence in some cases, the idea that innocent people can be found guilty has gained more awareness and acceptance over the past two decades. A new NIJ Journal article explores the role of forensic science in these cases, including critical lessons for forensic scientists as they perform testing, interpret results and testify in court. To read the article, visit

VALOR for Blue Releases New Training Program, New Spotlight for Safety

The VALOR Program has released "Ordinary or Extraordinary?", a new eLearning module geared to law enforcement officers. This video challenges officers to reexamine their role as law enforcement professionals. It covers:

  • The importance of treating your job as more than "just a job."
  • How your professionalism directly affects your safety and the safety of those you serve.
  • The definition of a "professional" in law enforcement.
  • What it means to be a scholar, a statesman, and a guardian

 VALOR for Blue members can access the module at

Also new to VALOR for Blue is a Spotlight on Safety called "Ambush Attacks Against Law Enforcement: Safety and Prevention Strategies." This series provides practical situational approaches and strategies to help law enforcement officers avoid, and survive, an ambush attack. Resources include an article, printable posters, podcasts and other materials. Learn more at; some materials are available to non-members.

Focus on Internet Safety

The latest Monthly Focus from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, on Internet Safety, can be downloaded from October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the Focus provides links to publications, related resources and more.
Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Let There Be Blue Light
New Haven Independent, (10/12/2017), Allan Appel
New Haven, Conn., is moving forward with plans to purchase and install "Blue Light" phones in heavily trafficked public areas. Calls made from these phones, which usually have a blue light on top for night visibility, go directly to a 911 dispatcher and identify the precise location of the caller.
Link to Article

Tweeting Kansas Trooper a Finalist in International Contest
Wichita Eagle, (10/12/2017), Kaitlyn Alanis
Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner began tweeting in 2014, and three years later, he has collected more than 30,000 followers. His efforts have earned him a space as one of three finalists for the Best International Account in the Police Twitter awards, which are based out of the United Kingdom. Finalists were determined by specific feedback about each account, Twitter analytic data, the number of nominations received and the account's value to the public.
Link to Article

APNewsBreak: Border Patrol Tests Camera-toting Balloon
The Republic, (10/12/2017), Elliott Spagat
U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas recently completed a 30-day trial of a camera-toting, helium-filled balloon that can move from location to location. The Border Patrol has been using six larger tethered balloons since 2012, and has recently experimented with using small drones as well. The Winch Aerostat Small Platform (WASP) costs $800,000 plus an additional $350,000 a year in annual operating expenses, while the existing balloon fleet costs $33 million a year to operate.
Link to Article

Calhoun County Dispatch Upgrades to Smart 911 System, (10/13/2017), Jason Puhr
Calhoun County has joined others in Michigan in participating in the state's Smart 911 program, which not only allows dispatch to send text alerts to all citizens, it also includes the capability to text back-and-forth with individuals. Recently, a domestic violence victim initiated a request for help by sending a text to 911, and because the individual felt comfortable texting with dispatchers, officers were able to provide assistance. The victim stated in her text messages that it was not possible to make a telephone call without arousing the suspicions of her abuser.
Link to Article

Newark SWAT Officer Shot In Bulletproof Vest During Search
CBS New York, (10/14/2017)
A member of a Newark (N.J.) Police Department SWAT team sustained only minor injuries thanks to his ballistic-resistant vest when he was shot while serving a warrant on Oct. 14. The suspect fired at the officer after the SWAT team knocked and announced themselves; the officer who was shot was treated and released after suffering only minor bruising.
Link to Article

Courts News

New Combined Courthouse Open to Public
The Journal, (10/12/2017), Jim Mimiaga
Montezuma County (Ariz.) has a new courthouse that combines district court, county court and probation in the same building. Considered to be the most modern facility in the state, it includes secure holding cells that lead directly to the courtrooms, an extensive camera surveillance system and a secure entrance monitored by an X-ray machine. The facility has been certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Link to Article

Corrections News

Parole Violations, Not New Crimes, Help Drive Prison's Revolving Door
Berkeley News (10/03/2017), Yasmin Anwar
Recently published research from the University of California-Berkeley indicates that individuals who spend time in prison are more likely to reoffend compared to individuals sentenced to probation only. It also indicates the majority of persons return to prison due to parole violations rather than committing new crimes.
Link to Article

Arizona Prisons Grapple With Upsurge in Inmate ‘Self-Harm'
The Crime Report, (10/05/2017), Jimmy Jenkins
Recent data collected by the Arizona Department of Corrections indicates a 70-percent increase in rates of inmate self-harm during the past 12 months. More than 80 inmates tried to commit suicide by hanging in fiscal 2017, while the rates of self-inflicted blunt force trauma nearly tripled and almost 140 inmates overdosed on illegal drugs. ADC notes that the statistics reflect incidents reported; the same individual may have tried more than once to harm himself or herself.
Link to Article

Congress Calls on FCC to Silence Cellphones in Prisons
ABC News, (10/12/2017), Meg Kinnard for the Associated Press
In an Oct. 4 letter to the Federal Communications Commission, 48 members of the House of Representatives and four Senators call on the FCC to do something about the glut of contraband cell phones in correctional facilities. A number of states have petitioned the FCC to allow them to jam the airwaves near correctional facilities. Jamming would keep prisoners from making calls that allow them to continue criminal activity while incarcerated.
Link to Article

Texas Inmates Donated Nearly $54,000 for Hurricane Relief
New York Times, (10/14/2017), Matt Stevens
In Texas, 6,663 inmates donated $53,863 for Hurricane Harvey relief, drawing from commissary accounts that typically have balances of less than $5. The program had originally been launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when inmates told administrators they wanted to help with that recovery. Inmates asked the state to have the fundraising program revived after this summer's devastation.
Link to Article

Job Training in Prison Has Gone Way Beyond Stamping License Plates
Sacramento Bee, (10/16/2017), Cynthia Hubert
California's Prison Industry Authority recently opened a technology training center at Folsom Women's Facility where inmates can learn computer skills in architecture, engineering, construction and other fields. Autodesk, a software company, helps train the inmates and also helps them find jobs on release.
Link to Article

Prisons: MCO Takes Drone Concerns to Governor's Task Force
Ionia Sentinel-Standard, (10/13/2017)
The Michigan Corrections Organization has issued a position statement to the state's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force, laying out concerns about drones related to their being used to smuggle contraband into correctional facilities. The statement asks for equipment and training to deter the danger posed by the unmanned aircraft.
Link to Article

IDOC: 34 Percent Spike in Prisoner Assaults
Fox Illinois, (10/12/2017), Rachel Droze
Prisoner-on-officer assaults in Illinois correctional facilities have increased by 34 percent in the past two years, officials say, and they cite a need for more staff and more training. Administrators have repeatedly requested updated technology, but have not received it due to lack of funding.
Link to Article

Former Juvenile Lifers Get Fresh Start With Re-Entry Workforce Program
CBS Philly, (10/16/2017), Cherri Gregg
Pennsylvania's Uplift Workforce Solutions allows "juvenile lifers" - individuals sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole when they were juveniles - to not only be released from prison, but also to learn skills necessary to gain employment on release. Other formerly incarcerated persons have earned early release and learned job skills as well.
Link to Article

New App Fighting Against Drunk Driving
KTHV11, (10/11/2017), Amanda Jaeger
A new app being used by the DWI Court in Faulkner County, Ark., not only randomly analyzes the breath of the person using it, it also monitors the individual's surroundings and emotional state. Individuals must have their breath analyzed via Bluetooth every three hours; they are subject to random checks as well. The app is used for repeat offenders only. The program allows them to avoid jail time if they use the app, perform community service and undergo treatment.
Link to Article

New Technology for Md. Prisons to be Unveiled in Somerset Co.
ABC47, (10/17/2017), Tahja Cropper
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has invested $1.8 million to purchase Cellsense portable scanners for its 24 correctional facilities. Correctional officers will use the portable scanners to locate contraband cell phones being used by inmates.
Link to Article

Upcoming Events

For additional information on these events go to:

  • International Community Corrections Association, 25th Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, Oct. 29 - Nov. 1, 2017
  • 2018 National Conference on Bullying, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno/Tahoe, NV, March 7 - 9, 2018
  • 13th Annual National School Safety Conference & Exposition Omni Champions Gate Resort & Spa, Orlando, FL, July 23 - 27, 2018

For additional information on School Safety related events go to:


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