Watch the National Forum Session on Data Access 101 via Facebook Live on August 1 @ 2 PT

The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) will stream the session “Data: What It is, Why You Need It and What in the World to Do With It” live from the National Forum on Criminal Justice on August 1 from 2:00-3:30 pm PT.  This session is geared for novices and addresses issues and questions including: Data:  we need it to decide which problems to tackle, to choose which initiatives to fund, and to measure whether those programs are working as planned. But do we have the data we need? If not, who does and will they share? How do we know if the data are telling us what we need to know? And how in the world do we pay for the analysis? Presenters are Jeff Bender, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services; and Terry Salo, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services. Glenn Fueston, Executive Director, MD Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention will serve as moderator.
NCJA will stream this session using Facebook Live at and the recording will be available on the NCJA website at


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Measures for Justice: Using Data to Improve the Criminal Justice System – County-by-County

The United States incarcerates more individuals per capita than any other country in the world. Without the ability to compare performance and identify trends at all levels of the system, injustices may become more prevalent and become accepted as the status quo.  Formed 2011, Measures for Justice (MFJ) is committed to bringing transparency to the criminal justice system by collecting, cleaning, and coding criminal justice data at the county level to publish on a free data portal and use data patterns to facilitate discussions about the justice system. MFJ’s founding goal was to create a series of measures to gauge the performance of the criminal justice system at the county-level. Its approach was designed to be collaborative, encouraging justice practitioners at the county-level to provide feedback on MFJ’s measures, data, and contextual information throughout the process to advance three criminal justice system goals: fair process, public safety, and fiscal responsibility. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) recruited MFJ to refine its justice system series of measures and undertake a pilot program to gather the corresponding data elements to support those measures as part of a BJA National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) engagement.

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Free Online Training on the Global Reference Architecture

SEARCH and the National Center for State Courts recently launched a new version of the training course on the Global Reference Architecture (GRA), a framework and set of standards that makes it easier, faster, and more affordable for justice and public safety practitioners to design effective information sharing solutions. This updated and self-paced online training course is presented in 10 modules and helps stakeholders gain a common understanding of the GRA framework, standards, methods, and processes. 

The training demonstrates how to establish a governance structure, develop an information sharing architecture, model and document services, and create information models.   The course includes interactive, hands-on implementation labs that tie lessons together and is presented via an easy-to-use interface integrating narration, video, and written text with a certificate of completion option. 

The GRA Training Course is suitable for a range of trainees, including executives, senior managers, project managers/coordinators, and implementers.  

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NW3C Virtual Currency Online Training

The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) recently released an online training course on virtual currency.  The 30-minute course covers basic information and concepts that serve as an introduction to virtual currencies and their relationship to other types of currency.  It covers various types of virtual currency, including the difference between decentralized and centralized currencies, with a strong focus on Bitcoin: what it is, how it is stored, and Bitcoin-specific investigative tips and techniques.  Individuals must have an NW3C online learning account and be employed by a law enforcement organization to access the no-cost training.

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Retired News Reporter Develops Algorithm to Try and Identify Serial Killers Using UCR Data

In 2004, Thomas Hargrove, a 61-year-old retired news reporter from Virginia, became aware of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Supplementary Homicide Report and contemplated whether it was possible to teach a computer how to spot serial killers.  He spent months trying to develop an algorithm that would identify unsolved cases with enough commonalities to suggest the same murderer.  Hargrove eventually founded the Murder Accountability Project (MAP), a small nonprofit seeking to make FBI murder data more widely and easily available.  MAP has already assembled case details on 638,454 homicides from 1980 through 2014, including 23,219 cases that had not been reported to the FBI.  This is the most complete list of case-level details of U.S. murders available anywhere, and the group’s Web site has made it available at no cost to anyone with statistical analysis software.  

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Most Hackers Can Access Systems and Steal Valuable Data Within 24 Hours: Nuix Black Report

Cybercrime is an ever-growing issue for state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement.  With advancements in technology, coupled with the oversharing of personal information, law enforcement needs to not only ensure the public’s safety online but also be cognizant of the digital footprint that people are leaving behind.  The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) has developed an online training course based on the Understanding Digital Footprints—Steps to Protect Personal Information resource.  The 35-minute course introduces the concept of digital footprints and best practices in protecting personal identifying information.  Topics include understanding consequences of oversharing personal information, limiting an individual’s digital footprint, protecting privacy on social media sites, and steps to take after becoming a target of doxing.  Individuals must have an NW3C online learning account and be employed by a law enforcement organization to access the training.

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States Band Together for Large-Scale Cloud Purchasing Agreement

Utah has taken the lead on what state information technology (IT) leaders have hailed as the largest cloud hosting services agreement to date.  Through the National Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) Value Point program, state officials and their partners have been hashing out the details of what will equate to a collective procurement agreement expected to benefit more than 34 states.  The Value Point platform gives states purchasing similar items cooperative buying power as one organization rather than on a state-by-state basis.  The final cooperative agreement, expected in August, will help a cadre of states move forward with cloud service procurement through a cohesive cooperative bargaining agreement and vetted contractors.

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Strengthening Cyber Defenses Through Fusion Center Engagement

With the explosion of hacktivism and other forms of cybercrimes in recent years, fusion centers have increased their intelligence gathering and their focus on cybersecurity.  The level at which state and local law enforcement and private industry are involved with fusion centers varies by area, but to measurably reduce cyber vulnerability, state and local governments must interact regularly with fusion centers and encourage more private companies to share information.  Four recommendations are provided to help state and local governments engage with fusion centers. 

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Anti-Surveillance Clothing Aims to Hide Wearers From Facial Recognition

The Hyperface project involves printing patterns onto clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths, and other features that a computer can interpret as a face.  This new kind of camouflage aims to reduce the confidence score of facial detection and recognition by providing false faces that distract computer vision algorithms from facial recognition software—the kind used by social media, online retailers, law enforcement, and the military. 

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BJA’s VALOR for Blue Adds New Online Learning Module

Registered users can visit the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s VALOR for Blue Web site to access a new online training that overviews research conducted by the FBI Behavioral Science Unit to evaluate the officer, the offender, and the circumstances that brought them together in deadly force encounters.  The training examines case studies of officers who faced a drawn gun and a suspect’s account of his decisions after killing an officer and identifies the moral, mental, and physical preparations necessary for officers to survive violent encounters.  Each new VALOR for BlueLearning module includes printable handouts, a promotional poster, and ready-to-use resources. 

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