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Artificial Intelligence in Corrections: An Overview of AI Applications and Considerations for Systems Administrators and Policy Makers

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2020
8 pages

This technology brief, the fourth and last in a series of briefs on artificial intelligence (AI) applications in criminal justice, provides an overview of AI applications and considerations for corrections system administrators and policymakers.


AI is a broad discipline within computer science that encompasses a wide range of methods that seek to create machines that mimic human intelligence. Implementing AI in corrections has the potential to impact a wide range of agency operations that facilitate making decisions and performing tasks; for example, AI technologies can determine whether a pretrial defendant should be detained in jail, facilitate the selection of rehabilitation services suitable for various offender needs, assist in determining whether a prisoner should be granted parole, and assist in determining appropriate case management for community supervision. Expanded descriptions are provided for the use of AI technologies in monitoring prisoner communications; monitoring prisoner locations, biometrics, and internal communications; detecting contraband; enabling more efficient operations; assessing recidivism risk; and enabling chatbots for community supervision. Advice is provided for corrections managers in lowering the risks of using AI, the importance of high-quality data in developing new AI applications in corrections, and current operational limitations to AI use. 3 figures and 12 references 

Date Published: August 1, 2020