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Institutional Corrections and Hard Technology (From The New Technology of Crime, Law and Social Control, P 227-244, 2007, James M. Byrne and Donald J. Rebovich, eds. -- See NCJ-218026)

NCJ Number
Jacob I. Stowell
Date Published
18 pages
This chapter discusses institutional corrections' use of "hard" technology (equipment and devices) in facility monitoring, inmate-officer interactions, and other functions related to the management of correctional facilities and their inmates.
Although facility monitoring still relies on line officers observing inmates directly or remotely through the use of video cameras, other types of hard technology are used for specific types of monitoring. This chapter identifies and describes technologies for detecting weapons and contraband in prison, as well as for the remote monitoring of inmates as they move throughout a jail or prison. Also described are technologies for correctional officers to indicate their need for emergency assistance, as well as technologies for perimeter security. Hard technologies that facilitate communication and protection in officer interactions with inmates are language-translation devices and weapons that apply less-than lethal force. The chapter also critiques the use of hard technologies for housing and managing high-risk inmates in "supermax" prisons. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges posed in evaluating the effectiveness of new correctional institution technologies and assessing their cost in relation to their benefits. 34 references