Technology makes agencies efficient, keeps officers and inmates safer

Technology and enhanced commissary systems are available and proven to be effective in correctional settings, yet not enough agencies have them


By Leischen Stelter, editor of In Public Safety

Technology can improve officer and inmate safety and make correctional facilities more efficient, yet many facilities still rely on paper records and manual systems. Technology like automated offender systems, inmate tracking systems, and enhanced commissary systems are available and proven to be effective in correctional settings, yet not enough agencies have them. Why? It almost always comes down to money, said Ron Wallace, criminal justice faculty member at American Military University.

"There’s a lot of great technology out there. The constraint becomes the financial inability to secure that technology,” he said. Wallace spent about 20 of his 33-year criminal justice career helping correctional facilities design and install new technology systems. He discussed his experience during a recent episode of Tier Talk radio, a podcast dedicated to discussing pressing issues and lessons learned in the evolving field of corrections.

During the show, Wallace argued that despite financial restraints administrators must prioritize investing wisely in technology to improve efficiency—which saves money in the long run—and will also help to protect officers and offenders.

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