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Combating the Use of Contraband Wireless Devices in Correctional Facilities: A Multisite Technical Assessment and Evaluation of Interdiction Technologies

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $999,841)

This applicant proposes to identify and assess a number of existing and emerging technologies through a scan of practice, field demonstrations, and lab tests. The study proposes to select multiple existing technologies designed to combat contraband wireless devices (e.g., handheld RF detectors, Managed Access Systems (MAS), jamming, continuous wave beacon) and conduct rigorous impact evaluations and cost effectiveness analyses.

The proposal will select at least one emerging technology that has not yet been implemented in a facility and conduct test and evaluation through a field test of the technology in a live correctional environment. The evaluation design will be tailored to the technology tested and evaluated. An interrupted time-series analysis or difference-in-differences design will be used to assess program effectiveness for technologies well-suited for a retrospective, quasi-experimental evaluation.

An experimental design will be used to assess the impact of technologies that are well-suited for a prospective evaluation. Lessons learned from these impact evaluations will be supplemented by cost-effectiveness analyses and qualitative interviews with correctional staff. The applicant proposes a three-pronged research design: a market survey; a multisite, mixed methods social science research design; and a test and evaluation field trial led by physical scientists. The applicant proposes a project that will update a small, and growing, body of literature on technology solutions procured by federal and state governments. Given the pace at which technology matures, this element of the project will provide guidance to practitioners.

"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14).


Date Created: August 31, 2018