This article discusses the advantages in the establishment of technology committees in the corrections field to effectively evaluate, select, and implement technology tools.
Technology has and will continue to change our society as a whole. Specifically, the impact of technology in the corrections field is unmistakable. During the past 10 years, the corrections field has witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount and type of technologies available to corrections, as such, the role of technology has changed accordingly. However, the opportunities created by the availability of all this new technology do not come without challenges. Decisions on if and how technology should be implemented are challenging, causing State-level correctional agencies to create technology review committees to assist in evaluating, selecting, and implementing these tools or products. This article discusses the many values attributed to the establishing of these committees. A formal technology review committee can provide an agency with a single point of contact and a process by which all technology is introduced. A review committee offers a formal process for the prioritization of needs within an agency. Lastly, if organized properly, a technology review committee can provide for better decisionmaking than could be achieved by an individual or small group. The number of committees has expanded over the years with 18 States currently having technology review committees since 2003. There are three types of committees currently in existence: product evaluation committees, technology transfer committees, and regional technology committees. These committees have sufficiently proved their value over time, and likely that in the future more and more States will formalize the process of reviewing technology.