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New Initiatives in Correctional Technology, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
53 pages
This project aimed to identify correctional technologies in need of improvement; using the rate of use-of-force incidents as the criterion measure, seven technology domains were examined: communications, fire safety, internal detection, locks and locking systems, management information systems, monitoring and surveillance, and perimeter security.
Seven different surveys were constructed, one for each technology domain, to explore systems used by correctional facilities, how a given technology was integrated into an overall system, items dealing with system effectiveness and/or reliability, detrimental effects of environmental factors and false alarms, susceptibility to inmate tampering, and respondent level of satisfaction with a particular system. The two technology domains identified as most in need of improvement were perimeter security and internal detection. Participants in a conference to evaluate technology systems identified four general themes: (1) correctional practitioners need effective and reliable technology at the lowest possible cost; (2) standardized assessment criteria are needed to permit objective comparisons among products within the same technology domain; (3) better mechanisms are needed for sharing information among correctional practitioners, based on their experience with specific technology products; and (4) training in the use of technology needs to be improved through significant involvement of both practitioners and vendors. Recommendations are offered to improve the ability of correctional systems to carry out court directives and to protect safety needs of both correctional staff and inmates. A definition of the use-of-force concept and conference materials are appended. References, tables, and figures

Date Published: January 1, 1996