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TECHBeat, June 2016

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: June 2016 Pages: 1-22
Date Published
June 2016
22 pages

In reporting developments in technology for law enforcement, corrections, and forensic sciences, feature articles in this issue report on a study that surveyed 3D crime-scene scanning devices, an examination of video visitation in prison, and a Youth Crime Watch program that turns students into peer educators.


"Study Surveys 3D Crime Scene Scanning Devices" reviews the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence's (FTCoE's) January 2016 report that provides a basic understanding of 3D laser scanning instruments; their uses, benefits, and limitations; and an impartial comparison of the features and capabilities of commercially available devices. According to this report, significant benefits to using 3D scanning technology include accuracy, precision, and objective data collection; and it may detect relevant evidence or patterns not otherwise visible. "Examining Video Visitation in Prison" reports on a study by the Vera Institute that surveyed the status of video visitation in State prisons in the United States. It examined how departments of corrections use video visits, the cost of implementing and operating such a system, and the benefits and challenges of implementation. It concludes that video visitation can provide a form of face-to-face interaction between inmates and family members when the inmates are housed in a facility a long distance from home or when family members cannot physically visit the prison for other reasons, and it can be available outside of visiting hours required for in-person visits; however, use of this technology can be expensive for families, and connectivity problems can occur. "Youth Crime Watch Turns Students Into Peer Educators" profiles a Youth Crime Watch program, in Miami-Dade County (Florida) in which a school-based youth club learns about and educates peers in crime prevention.

Date Published: June 1, 2016