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Effects of Correctional Body-Worn Cameras on Responses to Resistance: A Randomized Controlled Trial in a Jail Setting

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Dated: March 2024
Date Published
March 2024
24 pages

This study assesses the effects of correctional body-worn cameras (BWCs) on responses to resistance in a randomized controlled trial in a jail setting.


In this randomized controlled trial in a jail setting, the authors of this study found a decrease in response-to-resistance (RTR) events when body-worn cameras (BWCs) were used. Little is known about the scope of use-of-force incidents in carceral settings, nor the impact of efforts to control it. Correctional agencies have recently begun adopting body-worn cameras (BWCs) to mitigate such incidents and improve institutional management. In this study, the authors conducted a one-year randomized controlled trial of BWCs among the 12 housing units in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center in Virginia. The researchers collected data on the 97 response-to-resistance (RTR) events that occurred during the study period, including deputies’ control methods (physical controls, restraints, weapons) and residents’ resistance levels (passive, active, aggressive) during these events. Using negative binomial regression, the authors found a 40% decrease in RTR events in unit-months with BWCs. The authors also found 37% and 52% reductions in the use of physical controls by deputies and the occurrence of resident active resistance, respectively. The authors situate these findings in the correctional context and discuss their implications for policy and future research. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: March 1, 2024