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Project NITRO--National Inmate Telephone Research Operations: Draft Final Technical Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2004
62 pages
This report outlines the development and implementation of the federally supported National Inmate Telephone Research Operations (NITRO), a data mining computer system of jail and prison inmate telephone call records, and presents findings of test data from more than 30 jails in the 2003 time period and their call records.
Statistics show that over 2,100,000 inmates in correctional facilities make over 500,000,000 completed and over 2,000,000,000 attempted telephone calls a year in the United States. Officials are aware of the criminal activity that occurs during these calls, however, lack of staff and lack of controls have allowed the criminal activity to continue and progress. In addition, there has been no point of contact at any level of law enforcement to gain access to the telephone call records or recordings of the inmates. Supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, the National Inmate Telephone Research Operations (NITRO) was put into place to promote interoperability between all the levels of law enforcement by providing easy access to criminal telephone call records and recordings. NITRO developed a prototype data mining computer system of jail and prison inmate telephone call records. A working relationship was established with Texas region, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) which is comprised of 16 counties and 126 cities with presentations made to several of the counties and cities who had agreed to participate with NITRO. The outcome was several contracts and agreements with many jurisdictions to obtain their call records. The results of these presentations and discussions of how much crime actually exists from these inmate calls indicate that every group states that they have all worked on cases for long periods of time only to find that another investigator from another office, city, State, or Federal agency has been working on the same case. NITRO fills the gap between arrest and release for these criminals. It provides methods and tools to all levels of law enforcement to make them more efficient and maximize their efforts on cases. Attachments A-C

Date Published: May 1, 2004