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Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents

September 27, 2014 Comments off

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The arrest of a parent can have a significant impact on a child whether or not the child is present at the time of the arrest. Depending on age and quality of the relationship with the parent, children may feel shock, immense fear, anxiety, or anger towards the arresting officers or law enforcement in general. Over the past two decades, increasing emphasis has been placed on examination of the effects of these events on children of various ages and the ways in which law enforcement can make sure that an involved child doesn’t “fall through the cracks.” Research clearly indicates that such events can and often do have a negative impact on a child’s immediate and long-term emotional, mental, social, and physical health. Symptoms such as sleep disruptions, separation anxiety, irritability, and even more serious disorders or post-traumatic reactions have been documented. In addition, later problems with authority figures in general and law enforcement in particular can arise if officers or other service providers do not take the time to address the needs of the child. Time taken with a child under these trauma producing circumstances is time well spent.

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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.

Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Correctional Facilities

May 7, 2014 Comments off

Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Correctional Facilities
Source: National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women

One of the most common experiences shared by women in correctional facilities is a history of trauma, which for many can be extensive. Research from multiple disciplines has shown that the effects of trauma can be significant and long lasting. We now know that trauma often plays a role in the onset of women’s criminal behavior, is often linked to substance abuse and mental health challenges, and that trauma may explain some of the behaviors women offenders display while incarcerated. This document provides a brief overview of trauma and its effects on women offenders, and specifically defines trauma-informed practices for women’s correctional facilities. It also provides key actions that facility administrators, managers, and staff can take to better align their operational practices with the research on trauma and to create a more trauma-informed facility culture.

Best Practices in the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls Under Correctional Custody

April 30, 2014 Comments off

Best Practices in the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls Under Correctional Custody (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The National Task Force on the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women under Correctional Custody, initially convened by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2011, created this best practices statement to articulate a set of principles to guide agencies and jurisdictions in the development of local policy and practice. These best practices are relevant across a variety of settings including criminal justice, juvenile justice, psychiatric and forensic hospitals, law enforcement transport, and others. This document refers and applies to both women (age 18 years and older) and girls (younger than age 18) who are pregnant, laboring and delivering, or in the post-partum period.

This statement is not a proscribed policy. Rather, it should serve as a starting point for individual organizations to use in developing effective internal policies, procedures, and practices that maximize safety and minimize risk for pregnant women and girls, their fetuses/newborns, and correctional and medical staff.

The Inmate Education Facilitator’s Guide: Prison Rape Elimination Act — What You Need to Know

April 24, 2014 Comments off

The Inmate Education Facilitator’s Guide: Prison Rape Elimination Act — What You Need to Know (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

This guide is a supplement to the video, PREA: What You Need to Know. Its purpose is to help corrections officials conduct educational screenings of the video for inmates in their custody.

The core goal of PREA: What You Need to Know is to teach inmates about their right to be free from sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The video gives an overview of corrections policies to prevent and respond to this abuse, covering how inmates can safely report abuse, the types of victim services available to inmates following an incident of sexual abuse, and what it means for a facility to have a “zero-tolerance” policy.

Transcript: Innovations in Justice— Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Transcript: Innovations in Justice— Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Hello, this is Cornelia Sigworth. I’m a Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Today I am sitting down with Dr. Brian Regli from Drakontas Communication Tool and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio from Drexel University. Dr. Regli is the Chief Executive Officer of Drakontas Incorporated [LLC, http://www.drakontas.com. In this role, he is responsible for developing product commercialization strategies for emerging technologies. Dr. D’Ovidio is an Associate Professor at Drexel University, where he teaches for the Criminal Justice Program and directs Drexel’s research program in computer crime and digital forensics. Both Dr. Regli and Dr. D’Ovidio are working with the Bureau of Justice Assistance to develop curriculum materials to increase awareness of crimes committed in virtual worlds and to build capacity among state and local law enforcement [agencies] to combat these crimes.

So, Brian, when you think of video games, you think of fun, not crime. How are people exploiting virtual worlds and online video game worlds for criminal purposes?

Lost and Found: Understanding Technologies Used to Locate Missing Persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Lost and Found: Understanding Technologies Used to Locate Missing Persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect not only those who are living with the disease; these afflictions also impact the caregivers, law enforcement, and even neighbors. As the disease progresses, physical and mental capabilities are negatively impacted, short-term memory loss increases, and a person with Alzheimer’s might begin living in the past. As the person attempts to return to former places of employment or residences, they often get lost and need assistance returning to where they are currently residing. It is never possible to predict if or when a person with Alzheimer’s will wander or be unable to navigate familiar routes. Initiating a search for a person with Alzheimer’s can never be delayed, and conducting such searches can prove to be costly and consume extreme amounts of agency resources. It is crucial for law enforcement officers and other first responders to be familiar with and understand the signs of dementia and be aware of passive identification products used to identify persons with Alzheimer’s. In addition to passive identification techniques, there are technologies and products available that can be used to actively locate an individual who is lost.

Cellular location techniques and Global Positioning System devices are examples of proven methods for aiding law enforcement in a search for a missing person with dementia. This document will provide a technical description of these technologies and outline some of the advantages and disadvantages when employing these products. It will also provide comprehensive lists of locating devices that are currently available. Provided in each section is a short technical description of the technology and its advantages and the disadvantages. Appendix I and Appendix II provide a list of passive and active locating devices currently available.

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