In 2008 DPSCS created the Local Law Enforcement Dashboard – a web-based clearinghouse of information on a criminal subject’s history that is accessible to cooperating local, state, and federal law enforcement. Now, law enforcement can find criminal and background information that exists about a person in minutes instead of hours.
In 2008 DPSCS’ Information Technology and Communications Division (ITCD) completed a three year, $12 million improvement project that brought Maryland’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (MAFIS) into the 21st century. Now, using the latest in fingerprint technology, MAFIS drastically improves the state’s ability to rapidly and positively identify known criminals and perform background checks.
Through the new MAFIS, 99% of criminal and non-criminal fingerprint submissions can now be matched digitally. MAFIS also gives Maryland law enforcement a new palm search capability never before possible. Most importantly the new latent print search capabilities will help with the State’s caseload of unsolved crimes.
In the month of November 2009 alone, law enforcement agencies were able to identify the suspect in 79 criminal cases, including several homicides and suspicious deaths, thanks to the new, sharp images, which allow previously difficult-to-read prints to be matched to prints from new crime scenes for comparison purposes.
Live Scan Machines
In order to collect fingerprints in the digital format now used by MAFIS, 142 high-tech Live Scan machines, have been added to law enforcement, Parole and Probation, and other offices in every county in Maryland, as well as in Baltimore, Annapolis, and several other cities.
These machines are in use for private providers and school systems to run background checks; law enforcement to screen potential haz-mat drivers; and police, detention center personnel, and Parole and Probation agents to perform crucial criminal identification duties.
The Division of Parole and Probation (DPP) ramped up its use of limited GPS monitoring for certain offenders entering into state supervision after the Parole Commission authorized the use of GPS for all parole and mandatory releases in February 2009. GPS monitoring for probationers must be ordered by the court.
This GPS monitoring technology adds an additional dimension of surveillance on an offender population already subject to the State’s strictest supervision model, the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI). A DPP agent reviews an offender’s location and travels during the prior 24 hour period, looking for possible violations. If an offender violates, a warrant is immediately requested by the agent.
Different from active GPS monitoring, this system does not rely on cellular technology to relay an offender’s location in “real time” back to a tracking station.
DPSCS Community Escape Alert System
In October 2009, DPSCS unveiled a new Community Escape Alert System, a web-based inmate escape notification process. This technology can alert any citizen within a five state region should an inmate escape. It issues alerts through a telephone, cell phone, via text messaging or e-mail. Any citizen can simply visit the DPSCS website to sign up.
The system allows for notification about escapes from any DPSCS-operated facility in the state of Maryland. It far surpasses the old siren and whistle alerts in various parts of the state, which remain operational for the time being.
Parole and Probation Kiosks
In 2010, DPP plans to greatly expand the use of supervision check-in kiosks to enhance and make more efficient the management of its low-risk clients.
Thanks to a grant from GOCCP and a deal with the state of New York which will provide Maryland with free software, the DPP is in the process of purchasing a check-in kiosk for every single field office in the State. New York’s copyrighted software will tie right into our enhanced case management tracking system now under development.
The kiosks free up agents to deal with more pressing needs. The system captures a handprint, identifies personal information in seconds or minutes, and asks the offender a number of questions. Any “wrong” answers or discrepancies send up the warning flag, automatically alerting the agent via email.
- Governor Leads Gun Summit - Baltimore Sun 03/11/11
- Crime lab in Baltimore County celebrates 150th DNA hit - Baltimore Sun - Online 10/21/10
- Md. prisons to experiment with video conferencing for inmates - Herald-Mail 10/19/10
- New Technology Helps Police ID Offenders Faster - WJZ-TV 07/22/10
- New technology introduced to help officers in the field - WMAR-TV - Online 07/21/10
- State Unveils Electronic Tracking Of Those On Probation - WBAL-AM - Online 07/21/10
- Fingerprinting device gives law enforcement a high-tech touch - Carroll County Times 07/21/10
- New technology to help cops identify offenders - Baltimore Sun - Online 07/21/10
- State offers prison break alerts - Maryland Gazette - Online 01/07/10
- New Alert System Brings Notification Of Escaped Inmates - WHAG-TV 10/29/09
- New system will alert Marylanders about state prison escapes - Herald-Mail 10/29/09
- Get Notification Of Prison Breaks - WBAL-AM - Online 10/28/09
- Md. prison agency launches escape alert system - Baltimore Sun - Online 10/28/09
- Fingerprint match maker is one super sleuth - baltimoresun.com 03/17/09
- Match Maker - State police now have a Web-based, high-def fingerprint tool to help solve cases - Baltimore Sun 03/17/09
- Data consolidated from 12 state agencies, including 85 databases
- Used by 16,000 eligible people, from 100 criminal justice agencies
- Average of 34,000 hits a day
- $12 mil project to update fingerprint collection, storage and criminal identification
- 6.6 million fingerprints converted from paper format
- 2 million fingerprints converted from old digital format
- 233,000 unidentified latent fingerprints converted
- 260,000 palm print cards converted
- 50,000 cold case matches anticipated
- GPS used to monitor offender’s travel during prior 24 hours
- 1,200 offenders have been monitored by GPS since inception
- 90 day supervision for paroled or mandatory release offenders, including sex offenders - with option to extend by agent
Community Escape Alert System
- 15,000 phone calls per hour
- Unlimited texts and emails
- Click here to sign-up
- Check-in kiosks for low-risk offenders
- Currently used in three locations
- 50 additional kiosks expected in 2010, for use with thousands of offenders