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Officials face tough choices to combat Blount County, Tenn., jail overcrowding
Despite a recent report indicating crime in Tennessee is down, several local jails are showing the number of inmates is up. On Wednesday, 523 inmates were behind bars at the Blount County Jail, which is only certified to house a maximum of 350 people. "It's not safe for deputies inside or inmates serving time," said Tab Burkhalter, Blount County Commissioner. The average number of inmates has been at 552, significantly higher than the max. While each inmate does have a padded place to sleep, commissioners are debating both a quick fix and a permanent solution.
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Colorado parole officers saw 90,000 electronic monitoring alerts
The Denver Post
A team of 212 parole officers had wide discretion to decide how to respond to the nearly 90,000 alerts generated in the past six months by electronic devices that monitor parolees, according to interviews and data released by the Colorado Department of Corrections. That level of discretion is coming under scrutiny after authorities believe parolee Evan Ebel killed state corrections chief Tom Clements on March 19. Ebel's parole plan required him to wear a radio-frequency monitoring system on his ankle that would track when he left and returned to his home. But he took the monitor off.
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Juvenile detention alternatives gain ground in states, DC
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
"There is reason to think that we may, and I emphasize may, have reached a turning point in this era," said Bart Lubow, director of the juvenile justice strategy group at The Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. He made the comments recently at an AECF-organized three-day conference of some 800 professionals from juvenile justice and child welfare fields in Atlanta. The U.S. Supreme Court made "an affirmation that youth are fundamentally different from adults," said Lubow, in their June 2012 decision in Miller vs. Alabama.
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'Smart guns' could be next step in gun control
A proposal to expand background checks failed in Washington, but several entrepreneurs say they have a different answer to curbing gun violence. They're using technology to create guns that only fire in the right hands. These so-called smart guns can recognize a watch, a ring or even just a grip. For more than a decade, researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been working on a grip-recognizing gun similar to the one James Bond uses in "Skyfall."
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  Dog and Beth on CMT

The world’s most famous bounty hunters are back! Dog and Beth Chapman, joined by their son Leland, unite with bail bondsmen from around the country as they hunt for America’s most dangerous criminals. Catch an all new episode of Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, Sunday at 8/7c on CMT.

Critics: Justice reinvestment sidesteps minority communities
The Crime Report
A group of the nation's leading criminal justice advocates and researchers have charged that the much-lauded "justice reinvestment" strategy has failed to divert meaningful funds to minority communities who have been the most deeply affected by high levels of incarceration. A recent report issued today, the advocates are sharply critical of how the six-year-old strategy — warmly endorsed by the Department of Justice only last week — has evolved in many states.
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California police train with airsoft guns amid shortage
The Washington Times
A nationwide ammunition shortage has prompted many California police departments to find alternatives to using live firearms in training exercises, CBS San Francisco reports. "Everybody is fighting for what is seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there," said Lt. Louie Tirona, a firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond, Va., Police Department, who came up with the idea to use professional-grade airsoft guns in training drills.
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Social media is helping, hurting investigators
Police say social media is like a catch-22 during major investigations. Major Steve Drew with Richmond, Va., Police says it can help at the outset of their investigation, but, eventually, it can complicate matters. Within seconds of the FBI releasing photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the investigation took on a new form by phone and online. Their pictures were shared millions of times by users on Facebook and re-tweeted with a single click on Twitter. It works well when the information is right, but it also could be wrong.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Criminal realignment costing bail-bond businesses in California (Times-Standard)
Killing of 2 bounty hunters in Phoenix spotlights risk of job (The Arizona Republic)
Orange County, Fla., corrections chief steps aside after home-confinement failure (Orlando Sentinel)

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PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Elizabeth Zavala, Senior Editor, Law Enforcement/Public Safety, 469.420.2676   
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