Exhibit 1. Cognition Challenges in Jails and Safety Outcomes
From the NIJ Journal article "A New View of Jails: Exploring Complexity in Jails-Based Research."
Viewed through a complexity-informed lens, it becomes clear that persistent safety-related challenges in jails often have a strong cognition-related component, from the perspectives of both officers and those incarcerated.
From the officer's perspective, safe operations occur when observed behavior is appropriately risk assessed and acted on. Unsafe operations can occur when both a low-risk behavior is assigned a high risk and an officer's response is disproportionately aggressive and when a high-risk behavior is assigned a low risk and there is a failure to prevent harm.
From the incarcerated person's perspective, safe operations occur when the intention of the observed behavior is appropriately assessed and complied with. Unsafe operations can occur both when a benign request is understood as a threat and when a serious directive is understood as frivolous. In both cases, the officer may escalate attempts to elicit compliance and an aggressive response may occur.