Participants in the 3-day meeting of the Corrections Committee of the Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Advisory Council in 1996 reviewed technological advances in the previous year and set five priorities for the corrections community.
At the first meeting a year earlier JUSTNET, the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) online technology information service for law enforcement, corrections, and other criminal justice professionals, did not exist. Today JUSTNET provides connections and information exchanges to thousands of users. The use of teleconferences is increasing. At the 1996 meeting the Corrections Committee shared the goals delineated in addresses by Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson and NIJ Director Jeremy Travis and set the following priorities for corrections: (1) information-sharing and information technology, (2) community corrections and the tracking and monitoring of offenders, (3) concealed weapons detection, (4) drug testing technology, and (5) additional correctional officer safety problems. Participants felt that the Federal Government should develop a model criminal justice information and make it as accessible as major Internet services. Other discussions and recommendations focused on global positioning systems for more advanced electronic monitoring of offenders, body alarms for sex offenders, and technologies for inmate tracking. Participants also discussed portable devices for the detection of concealed weapons in correctional facilities, telemedicine, teleconferencing for inmate visits and court hearings, laser flashlights, and vests that are puncture-proof and slash-proof.