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STEP Up to Prison Security Planning

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2009
2 pages
This report describes the features and uses of a security technology enhancement plan (STEP) for correctional facilities.
A STEP should encompass the security technology needs of a correctional facility in three broad areas: perimeter security, staff and inmate communication, and contraband detection. Perimeter security includes lighting, fencing materials, electronic detection of movement on the perimeter, equipment for staff duty stations, and electronic detection of contraband at perimeter points. Technology for staff and inmate communication is related to intercoms, radios, telephones, emergency callback systems, pagers, and cell phones. Contraband detection involves metal detectors, x-ray machines, and technologies such as ion scanners for the detection of contraband within the facility. The plan must assess the adequacy of the current security system and determine what technologies are needed to improve security in the aforementioned areas. High-priority needs should be highlighted in the STEP. Cited technology needs should provide specific information, such as a product name, unit costs, and a summary of required funds. Several funding levels should be included in order to provide options for analysts and decisionmakers. The plan should also indicate short-term and long-term maintenance costs, indicate how the system can be integrated into the existing technology maintenance program, and describe the additional staff services required. A STEP that is continually updated provides an ongoing up-to-date and prioritized assessment of a facility’s security needs, which enables an agency or department to act quickly and decisively when the need or opportunity for a security upgrade arises.
Date Published: October 1, 2009