FL to Cut Family Prison Visits; Inmates Blame Staff

Nearly 100 relatives of Florida inmates appeared in Tallahassee on Tuesday to protest a new policy that will reduce by half one of the most effective tools the Florida Department of Corrections has to manage the prison population: contact visitations, reports the Miami Herald. Under the proposal, the state will allow inmates to meet with visitors every other weekend instead of every weekend. The agency says staff shortages and a continued increase in illegal drugs, cell phones, weapons and other contraband have forced the change in policy. The goal is to spread out the crowds to allow staff to provide more time and attention to searching visitors to reduce the introduction of contraband, said corrections spokesperson Michelle Glady. Family members told a panel of senior prison officials that they are being punished for the failure of the agency to police its own staff, whom they believe smuggle in cigarettes, drugs and cell phones to augment their low salaries. “We’re not bringing in the contraband. It’s them,” said Lisa Teets, who visits her imprisoned son every weekend and holiday and undergoes a pat down every time, including when she goes into and out of the restroom. Kyle Williford testified that he was released from prison last week after a three-year sentence served for burglarizing his parents and sister to feed his drug habit. “My experience is the contraband at the Department of Corrections comes from staff members,” he said. “These men and women have to watch child molesters, rapists, murderers, and they get paid as much as your average Wal-Mart employee.”

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Pennsylvania DA is charged with protecting drug dealers, trading favorable treatment for sex

A long-time district attorney in Pennsylvania has been arrested on 31 charges that accuse him of thwarting drug investigations and trading favorable treatment for sex.

Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins, 43, resigned Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty, report the Legal Intelligencer, the Altoona Mirror, the Centre Daily Times and the Philadelphia Tribune. The charges include obstruction of law enforcement, reckless endangerment, official oppression, hindrance of a prosecution and witness endangerment.

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Tech Firms Helping Police ID Faces in Real Time

Several technology companies are working with police departments to develop capability to add artificial intelligence to video surveillance and body cameras that could identify faces in real time, potentially expanding the reach of police surveillance, the Wall Street Journal reports. The body-camera technology, expected to be ready by the fall, hasn’t yet been purchased by police departments and is still in the development stage. Police departments already use facial recognition to review surveillance footage after a crime has occurred. The new software uses an algorithm to tell an officer on the spot, through a body camera or a video surveillance camera, that it has found a suspect. The officer then must decide whether to stop the suspect or take some other action.

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Feds: There are hostile stingrays in DC, but we don’t know how to find them

The federal government has formally acknowledged for the first time that it has located suspected and unauthorized cell-site simulators in various parts of Washington, DC. The revelation, which was reported for the first time on Tuesday by the Associated Press, was described in a letter recently released from the Department of Homeland Security to the offices of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). “Overall, [DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate] believes the malicious use of IMSI catchers is a real and growing risk,” wrote Christopher Krebs, DHS’ acting undersecretary, in a March 26, 2018 letter to Wyden.

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Judge Arrested After Allegedly Breaking Into Former Intern’s House To Steal Panties

A Long Island judge has been “temporarily relieved of his duties” on the bench after he was arrested for allegedly breaking into a former intern’s home, rummaging through her hamper, and stealing a pair of her panties. At the time of his arrest, the judge was found with other “soiled female undergarments” in his pockets, “from other times [he] went into the house.”

Apparently when he asked if he could review his intern’s briefs, he was serious.

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New Data Spying Law Was Slipped Into Spending Bill

Police in other countries will be able to get emails and other electronic communication more easily from their own citizens and from Americans under a bill that Congress stuffed inside the massive $1.3 trillion spending deal passed last week, says USA Today. Supporters said the bill, dubbed the CLOUD Act, will simplify the process for the U.S. government and its allies to get evidence of serious crimes and terrorist threats when that evidence is stored on a server in another country. Opponents, including civil liberty and privacy rights groups, said the law could make it easier for nations with human rights abuses to spy on dissidents and collect data on Americans who communicate with foreign nationals. congressional approval.

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Former Justice John Paul Stevens calls for repeal of the Second Amendment

Demonstrators who protested gun violence during the March For Our Lives rally last weekend should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment, according to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

In a New York Times op-ed, Stevens said the Second Amendment was adopted amid a concern that a standing army might pose a threat to the security of the states.

“Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century,” Stevens said.

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Use copyright law to battle mugshot extortion

After her DUI charge was dropped, Julie Cantu thought her nightmare was over. Then, she went on a date.

Over dinner, Cantu’s would-be-suitor was asking questions anyone asks on a first date. Then he asked about her criminal record. Caught off-guard by the question, she thought about the dropped charge. Her blood alcohol had been 0.021, well below the legal limit of 0.08, and she had no other contact with the law. How did her date know?

After getting home, the Florida resident and retired nurse went online and searched her name. Her mugshot, eyes puffy and red from crying, was displayed prominently between results for her LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.

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