Current Criminal News and Events

Current Criminal News and Events, Criminal News Articles.
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DUAL takes AI to the next level
Scientists at DGIST in Korea, and UC Irvine and UC San Diego in the US, have developed a computer architecture that processes unsupervised machine learning algorithms faster, while consuming significantly less energy than state-of-the-art graphics processing units. The key is processing data where it is stored in computer memory and in an all-digital format. The researchers presented the new architecture, called DUAL, at the 2020 53rd Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture. (2020-12-30)

Sights set on curbing gun crime
A community or sub-culture encouraging young men's exposure and obsession with guns - as well as ready access to firearms and drugs - can make gun violence 'all too easy', with Flinders University experts promoting a new direction on managing the global problem. Flinders criminologists conclude that the need to 'dematerialise' the attraction to gun has ''never been greater'' than ''in a post-COVID-19 world in which guns have gained greater salience in many countries''. (2020-12-15)

Within a hair's breadth--forensic identification of single dyed hair strand now possible
A single strand of hair in a crime scene contains many clues that can help identify a perpetrator. In a recent study, scientists at Tokyo University of Science, Japan, have combined two modern techniques, called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence, to distinguish between different colors in individual hair strands. Both these techniques are almost non-destructive and can be conducted with portable devices, making this a promising way to get supportive evidence in forensic investigations. (2020-12-09)

Engaged dads can reduce adolescent behavioral problems, improve well-being
In low-income families, fathers who are engaged in their children's lives can help to improve their mental health and behavior, according to a Rutgers University-New Brunswick study published in the journal Social Service Review. (2020-12-09)

Undocumented immigrants far less likely to commit crimes in U.S. than citizens
Crime rates among undocumented immigrants are just a fraction of those of their U.S.-born neighbors, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of Texas arrest and conviction records. (2020-12-07)

How a police contact by middle school leads to different outcomes for Black, white youth
A new University of Washington study finds that Black youth are more likely than white youth to be treated as 'usual suspects' after a first encounter with police, leading to subsequent arrests over time. Even as white young adults report engaging in significantly more illegal behavior, Black young adults face more criminal penalties. (2020-12-03)

Barriers to police investigations into widespread financial crime unveiled
A majority of police detectives in England and Wales investigating financial crime do not have sufficient knowledge to build a successful case. That's the finding of new research from the University of Portsmouth, looking into why results of such investigations vary so widely, especially when the crimes account for half of all criminal activity in the UK. (2020-11-24)

States unfairly burdening incarcerated people with 'pay-to-stay' fees
Pay-to-stay, the practice of charging people to pay for their own jail or prison confinement, is being enforced unfairly by using criminal, civil and administrative law, according to a new Rutgers University-New Brunswick led study. (2020-11-20)

Why untraceable cryptocurrencies are here to stay
Financial regulators have a wait and see approach to decentralized privacy-preserving cryptocurrencies, letting them mature before deciding how to regulate them. Yet they assume there will be some way for oversight in the future to track extraordinary transactions linked to organized crime, terrorism financing and money laundering. (2020-11-17)

Center for Justice Research Police Reform Action Brief: Ban chokeholds
A chokehold ban will help move this country further toward the elimination of racially-motivated police violence and the longstanding tensions/distrust between minority communities and the police. (2020-11-16)

How people would choose who gets scarce COVID-19 treatment
As COVID-19 cases begin climbing again in the United States, the possibility arises of a grim moral dilemma: Which patients should be prioritized if medical resources are scarce? A study of more than 5,000 people in 11 countries found that people worldwide gave two characteristics the most weight when they made their decision: age and probability of survival. (2020-10-29)

Sanctuary policies protect immigrants but don't threaten public safety
Stanford researcher David Hausman analyzed ICE deportations data for 296 large counties combined with FBI crime data. Sanctuary counties experienced a significant decrease in deportations in the months after sanctuary policies were adopted. Deportations of individuals with violent convictions did not decrease, but deportation of individuals without convictions decreased by about half. Sanctuary policies did not have a significant effect on crime rates or the rate at which police arrested individuals for reported crimes. (2020-10-19)

Lie detection -- Have the experts got it wrong?
Researchers led by the University of Portsmouth carried out a critical analysis of the Model Statement lie detection technique and the results have been published today in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. There are concerns that the use of the technique is dangerous in the pursuit of criminal justice and researchers are calling for an urgent review of its practice. (2020-10-15)

A new toolkit for capturing how COVID-19 impacts crime
A new set of assessment tools shows promise in capturing how the COVID-19 pandemic affects patterns of criminal activity. Hervé Borrion of University College London, U.K., and colleagues present this toolkit in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on October 14. (2020-10-14)

Closing the market for fake documents on the open web
New cybersecurity research reveals the shocking number of vendors selling passports and identification documents online. (2020-10-14)

Excess deaths from COVID-19, community bereavement, restorative justice for communities of color
Ways the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing health, human rights and economic disparities in communities of color are discussed in this Viewpoint, which also proposes a program of restorative justice in response, comprising investments in education and housing, reforms in lending practices and criminal justice, and more. (2020-10-12)

In New York City, behavioral "nudges" improve court attendance
Improving communication around and awareness of critical court information through behavioral interventions, or ''nudges,'' may be more effective at improving court attendance for low-level criminal offenses than threats of further punishment, a new study finds. (2020-10-08)

ideas42 and University of Chicago Crime Lab challenge assumptions about missed court dates
Behavioral design nonprofit ideas42 and the University of Chicago Crime Lab announced the publication of their new joint paper, Using Behavioral Nudges to Reduce Failure to Appear in Court in Science Magazine. The paper's results demonstrate that redesigning New York City's summons form to make it simpler and clearer reduced failure to appear rates by 13%, and sending text message reminders reduced failure to appear rates by 21%. (2020-10-08)

Simple solutions reduce court no-shows and subsequent arrest warrants
For low-level offenses in New York City, text nudges and a redesigned summons form decreased court no-show rates by about 20% and led to 30,000 fewer arrest warrants over three years, according to research from criminologist Aurélie Ouss of the University of Pennsylvania. 'Lack of awareness is likely a barrier that explains some criminal justice failures, and these can have really big consequences,' she says. (2020-10-08)

Cannabis farms are a modern slavery 'blind spot' for UK police, study suggests
Migrants arrested for tending plants in the flats, houses and attics where cannabis is grown in bulk are often victims of trafficking and ''debt bondage'' - yet many are not recognised as such by police, according to a new study. (2020-09-15)

Experiment contradicts assumptions about sleep loss and criminal interrogations
An experimental study suggests that sleep restriction may hinder information disclosure during criminal interviews, contradicting widespread assumptions about the effectiveness of sleep deprivation as an interrogation tool. (2020-08-28)

Punitive sentencing led to higher incarceration rates throughout adulthood for certain birth cohorts in North Carolina
A new study using 45 years of incarceration data from North Carolina suggests an alternative explanation to the current rates of incarceration: this pattern is driven by the prolonged involvement in the criminal justice system by members of Generation X, who came of age during the 1980s and early 1990s. (2020-08-24)

Study hopes to encourage use of new technology to reduce errors in DNA testing
The paper published in PLOS Genetics points out that existing problems of paternity testing have occurred over many years. (2020-08-17)

Dignity and respect go a long way in county jail, new research shows
A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh study indicates a little respect and decency can go a long way in improving some aspects of America's criminal justice system. Matt Richie, an assistant criminal justice professor, recently published 'Managing the Rabble with Dignity and Respect,' in the Journal of Crime and Justice, a publication of the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association. His findings reveal a great deal of the work involves interpersonal communication skills rather than physical force. (2020-08-12)

Save black lives
The Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University and the Black Public Defender Association today released ''Save Black Lives: A Call for Racially-responsive Strategies and Resources for the Black Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic,'' a comprehensive report that details why public health responses and strategies to address COVID-19 must be centered around race and the criminal legal system. (2020-08-05)

'Deepfakes' ranked as most serious AI crime threat
Fake audio or video content has been ranked by experts as the most worrying use of artificial intelligence in terms of its potential applications for crime or terrorism, according to a new UCL report. (2020-08-03)

Anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 has historical ties in United States
Anti-Asian hate crimes during health crises are unfortunately not new, according to a new academic paper examining the history of this phenomenon. The research team, including an Iowa State University criminal justice researcher, looked at how anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic have furthered the historical 'othering' of Asian Americans and reproduced inequalities. (2020-07-29)

Lithium in drinking water linked with lower suicide rates
Naturally occurring lithium in public drinking water may have an anti-suicidal effect - according to a new study from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London. Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study collated research from around the world and found that geographical areas with relatively high levels or concentration of lithium in public drinking water had correspondingly lower suicide rates. (2020-07-27)

Study of US mass shootings, firearms homicides suggests two-pronged policy approach
A new study examined the impact of household gun ownership and concealed carry legislation on annual counts of mass shootings and homicides from firearms in the United States over the last 25 years. The study found that mass shootings occur disproportionately in states with higher levels of gun ownership, while rates of firearms homicides are higher in states with permissive concealed carry policies. (2020-07-23)

Scientists at USC and other institutions develop new method to improve police lineups
For the first time, scientists have developed a way to measure the reliability of an eyewitness trying to pick a culprit from a police lineup. The findings could help reduce the number of innocent people convicted of crimes. (2020-07-14)

Community and law enforcement partnerships best help kids who witness home violence
The Child Trauma Response Team, an innovative police and community-based organization partnership, demonstrated success at screening and treating children for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) immediately following incidents of intimate partner violence, according to a Rutgers-led study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. (2020-07-08)

School absenteeism has surprising consequences for adults
Kids who miss a lot of school from kindergarten to eighth grade may suffer unexpected costs as young adults, a new study finds. Researchers found that those who were more regularly absent in these early years of school were less likely to vote, reported having greater economic difficulties and had poorer educational outcomes when they were 22 to 23 years old. (2020-07-01)

Bringing burnt bones back to life using 3D technology
Forensic scientists at the University of Portsmouth have discovered a new way of presenting fragile evidence, by reconstructing a 'jigsaw' of human bone fragments using 3D printing. In the first known study of its kind, researchers took fragmented burnt human bones and tested the ability to make 3D models suitable to be shown to a jury in court. (2020-06-24)

Linking hospital and other records can predict both fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses, study suggests
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the odds of a fatal opioid overdose were 1.5 times higher for individuals with one to two visits to the emergency department for any medical issue than for people with no hospital visits. (2020-06-24)

Helping to protect the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world
As China upgrades pangolins to the highest protected status level, an alternative approach to using long standing forensic methods is helping wildlife crime investigators disrupt poachers and animal traffickers in an effort to bring them to justice. (2020-06-22)

Addressing the drug problem in health and social care will produce better outcomes
Researchers at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have evaluated the impact of decriminalization policy in different settings. The new study reviews reports, peer-review articles, and critical response papers on the topic. (2020-06-12)

Place doesn't trump race as predictor of incarceration
Steven Alvarado is the author of 'The Complexities of Race and Place: Childhood Neighborhood Disadvantage and Adult Incarceration for Whites, Blacks, and Latinos,' published June 1 in the journal Socius showing that for black Americans growing up in better neighborhoods doesn't diminish the likelihood of going to prison nearly as much as it does for whites or Latinos. (2020-06-11)

AI sentencing tools need to be closely scrutinised, says new study
Judges should closely vet the AI tools they use to help them predict whether a defendant is likely to re offend, urges a new study. (2020-06-09)

Cannabis in Michigan: New report documents trends before recreational legalization
Nearly twelve years ago, Michigan voters approved the use of medical cannabis by residents with certain health conditions. A year and a half ago, they voted to approve its use by all adults, for any reason. What happened between those two dates is the focus of a comprehensive new report. (2020-06-04)

Healthcare rationing could see 'unlawful deaths' from COVID-19, researchers claim
Current medical guidelines risk unlawful deaths of patients -- with doctors, hospitals, and even the government potentially liable -- if a second peak forces hard choices due to shortages of ventilators and other critical care resources. (2020-05-21)

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