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Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

With the rapid growth and improvements in video technology used in government, business, and personal applications, law enforcement leaders are recognizing the importance of improving their agencies’ capabilities of utilizing that video evidence to solve crimes. Despite the growing availability of video evidence, many state and local law enforcement agencies have indicated that gathering and analyzing video information can be very difficult. Video evidence can come from a multitude of different devices, with differing systems, formats, players, and technology, yet an agency’s ability to properly secure, catalog, store, and maintain its evidentiary value and integrity is critical to a professional police organization. Clearly, guidance and best practices are needed to improve public safety agencies’ ability to appropriately utilize and manage video data.

The purpose of this resource is to provide answers to straightforward common questions that law enforcement officers, or the agencies they represent, may have regarding properly securing, collecting, storing, and analyzing video by directing them to valuable tools and resources from experts in the field.

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“Don’t Say Gay” in the State of Tennessee: Libraries as Virtual Spaces of Resistance and Protectors of Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) People

September 1, 2014 Comments off

“Don’t Say Gay” in the State of Tennessee: Libraries as Virtual Spaces of Resistance and Protectors of Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) People (PDF)
Source: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

In recent years the geographic state of Tennessee in the United States has acquired a national notoriety and shameful reputation as a toxic place on issues of sex and gender (Mehra 2011; Mehra and Braquet, in press; Mehra and Braquet, 2011; Mehra and Braquet, 2007a, 2007b; Mehra and Braquet, 2006), especially owing to the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill that thankfully died a second death when lawmakers failed to pass the measure banning elementary and middle-school teachers from discussing sexual activity that is not “related to natural human reproduction” (Ford, 2013; McDonough, 2013; Staff eports, 2013). In the light of such failed, yet repressive and homophobic efforts, how are the state’s school, public, and academic libraries representing the needs and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in providing web access and coverage of information related to this marginalized population in a region that proudly identifies itself as the buckle of the conservative Bible – belt in the United States. This paper highlights findings from an exploratory website study to identify key trends, best practices, and case representations across different types of library environments of LGBTQ information resources, collections, programs, and services. It shows how library agencies around the state have the potential to serve as virtual spaces of resistance and protectors of human rights of LGBTQ people against the dictates of hegemonic, prejudiced, and hateful regime representatives and unjust laws.

Same-sex intimate partner homicide in Australia

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Same-sex intimate partner homicide in Australia
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

While there is a sizable body of research on intimate partner homicide in general, there has been limited focus on intimate partner homicide involving people in same-sex relationships.

The present study, one of the first of its kind, uses data from the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) within a context of national and international research to describe what is known about the trends and key characteristics of same-sex intimate partner homicide in Australia.

An analysis is provided of the similarities and differences between same-sex and opposite-sex intimate partner homicide incidents, including identification of some of the factors associated with these incidents.

Consideration is also given to the role of sexual discrimination and marginalisation in same-sex intimate partner homicide.

AU — Profiling parental child sex abuse

August 30, 2014 Comments off

Profiling parental child sex abuse
Source: Australian Institute for Criminology

Public policy initiatives to redress parental child sexual offenders have been hindered by the absence of an offending profile that characterises this core group of intrafamilial offenders. Drawing on data from a sample of 213 offenders, this study augments knowledge about sex offender typologies by identifying ten key descriptive features of parental offenders.

The findings revealed that parental sex offenders have a distinctive profile unlike that of other child sexual offenders and are more criminally versatile than presupposed. This may provide useful information to support clinical practice and preventive interventions aimed at increasing offender desistance and reducing threats to the safety and welfare of young children and their families.

Where More Americans Die at the Hands of Police

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Where More Americans Die at the Hands of Police
Source: The Atlantic (Richard Florida)

The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer has reintroduced police-related killings as a topic of major national debate. Brown is just the latest in a long line of young, unarmed black men killed by law enforcement agents.

It’s been widely reported that roughly 400 Americans die at the hands of police per year. And yet, that figure is likely a significant underestimate, as Reuben Fischer-Baum details at FiveThirtyEight.

We ask a slightly different question: Where are Americans more likely to die at the hands of police or while under arrest?

With the help of my colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Nick Lombardo of the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), we mapped data from two sources: “arrest related deaths” from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, and from the FBI’s annual Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) on “felons killed by police.” We also got input from three leading American criminologists: Alfred Blumstein and Daniel Nagin, my former colleagues at Carnegie Mellon, and John Roman of the Urban Institute.

It’s important to reiterate that both data sources suffer from serious deficiencies, not the least of which is under-reporting. Roman worries about “reporting bias,” particularly the possibility that “more responsible agencies”—those least likely to use force in the first place—”are more likely to report, and less responsible agencies are less likely to report.” But he also adds that what looks like missing data may not be. “It might be that few policing agencies have an officer-involved shooting and the agencies that don’t simply don’t report any data,” he writes in an email.

But, taken together and in light of their limits, the maps are broadly suggestive of the geography of U.S. police killings as well as the states where arrests are likely to result in more deaths. As Roman puts it: “It is important to shine a light on the subject. Because there is such limited data, our ability to define the scope of the problem greatly limits our ability to form an appropriate response.”

Transporting Crude Oil by Rail: State and Federal Action

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Transporting Crude Oil by Rail: State and Federal Action
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Technological advances such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are driving the increase in oil and natural gas extraction and allowing access to shale resources in Canada and the U.S. that were previously uneconomical to develop.

In fact, the United States became the No. 1 producer of oil in the world in 2014—overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia. The U.S. produced 8.4 million barrels per day of oil in April 2014, which is the highest monthly production volume in more than 25 years—with North Dakota and Texas supplying almost half of the total U.S. crude oil production. The rapid expansion of crude oil production in North America has increased the use of rail, truck, barge and pipeline to carry crude to refineries.

Upon extraction, crude oil is transported to refineries to be processed into useful petroleum products—such as heating oil, diesel fuel or gasoline. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in 2009 70.2 percent of crude oil and petroleum products were transported by pipeline while 23.1 percent were shipped by oil tankers, 4.2 percent by truck and just 2.6 percent by rail. In 2013, crude oil accounted for just 1.4 percent of the commodities carried by rail. Although oil makes up a small percentage of rail freight, this proportion is increasing rapidly.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Incarcerated youth die by suicide at a rate two to three times higher than that of youth in the general population. In this bulletin, the authors examine suicidal thoughts and behaviors among 1,829 youth ages 10 to 18 in the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL.

Key findings include the following:
• Approximately 1 in 10 juvenile detainees (10.3 percent) thought about suicide in the past 6 months, and 11 percent had attempted suicide.
• More than one-third of male juvenile detainees and nearly half of female juvenile detainees felt hopeless or thought a lot about death or dying in the 6 months prior to detention.
• Recent suicide attempts were most prevalent in female detainees and youth with anxiety disorders.
• Fewer than half of detainees with recent thoughts of suicide had told anyone about their suicidal thoughts.

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