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Security Review Committee Helps Florida DOC Make Sound Technology Decisions

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 65 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2003 Pages: 46-48
James Upchurch
Date Published
July 2003
3 pages
This article discusses the experience of the Florida Department of Corrections in locating, evaluating, testing, and procuring its security technology.
The process began in 1995 when a State law was passed that mandated a security review committee be appointed to investigate and evaluate the usefulness and dependability of any existing or new security technology at correctional institutions. The Security Review Committee is comprised of the four regional directors of institutions, a warden from each region, an assistant warden from each region, a security colonel from each region, and representatives from staff development and the inspector general’s office. Since 1996, the committee has reviewed and evaluated more than 90 different security technologies and innovative security products. The Florida Department of Correction’s Bureau of Security Operations previews a wide variety of security products and technologies. The vendor brings the product to the Security Review Committee meeting and provides a live demonstration of what it can do. A key element of the evaluation system is the invaluable, first-hand knowledge of the committee members and the perspective they have of the day-to-day institutional operations, as well as the problems and issues associated with operating correctional facilities. If the product receives favorable consideration and is believed to be suitable for use, the committee asks the vendor where the technology is currently in use. A favorable assessment and positive references from staff in other jurisdictions lead to a pilot test of a product or technology. The evaluation is conducted to determine if the product or technology is suitable and has applicability in the prison system. The final step is the recommendation of a product or technology for use by a correctional facility. The most significant contribution that technology has made to corrections has been in the area of electronic perimeter detection systems.


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