Corrections Technologies

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 be used for institutional corrections (such as jails and prisons) or for community corrections (such as parole and probation). It can safeguard the lives of both officers and inmates and improve efficiency and effectiveness of correctional practices.

Among other things, technology can detect contraband, extract covert information, monitor behavior, and alert staff to personnel that are in trouble. It can be a viable and less expensive alternative to incarceration for less violent offenders; but the alternatives can only work if offenders can be effectively monitored. Technology can serve as a means to achieve these goals.

NIJ funds corrections technology research and development to improve correctional operations for state, local, tribal and federal agencies. The research focuses on improvements in four focus areas: 

  • Safety within correctional agencies.
  • Efficacy of offender supervision.
  • Allocation of resources within correctional agencies to reduce costs, enhance staff management and reduce injuries.
  • Collaboration between state, local, tribal and federal correctional agencies and other criminal justice agencies through the integration of technology information.

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Date Modified: November 28, 2016