Improving Safety in Institutions with Technology

Implementing and Evaluating Technology

In the NIJ Journal article Harnessing the Power of Technology in Institutional Corrections, one researcher reflects on the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing and evaluating criminal justice technologies.

Technology can improve safety in institutional settings, such as jails and prisons.

Different entities operate different types of correctional facilities:

  • Local jails are operated by county or municipal authorities; they typically hold offenders for short periods ranging from a single day to a year. 
  • Longer-term confinement facilities may be operated privately or publically by local, state or federal agencies. 
  • Other facilities are operated by special jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. territories and federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

NIJ's Role

NIJ identifies needs, develops solutions and tests the effectiveness of those solutions with the goal of making technology affordable, reliable, and easy to install, use and maintain.

NIJ's funding for equipment and technology aims to balance the needs of prisons and jails and to use, whenever possible, available technology that can be quickly transferred for use in corrections.

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