Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative
Aug 18, 2014
This report presents challenges and needs associated with threats to correctional institution safety and security, including violence, contraband, and compromised staff members. In light of the ongoing challenges the corrections sector faces in countering these threats, RAND researchers convened an expert workshop to better understand the challenges and identify the high-priority needs associated with threats to institutional security.
Identifying Innovation Needs to Address Current and Emerging Concerns
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Some threats to correctional institutional security — e.g., violence, escape attempts, contraband — are as old as the institutions themselves, while other threats — e.g., computer hacking, synthetic drugs, cell phones, drones — have evolved with societal and technological changes. Many of these threats present risks to public safety as a whole. In light of the ongoing challenges the corrections sector faces in countering these threats, RAND researchers convened an expert workshop to better understand the challenges and identify the high-priority needs associated with threats to institutional security.
Unfortunately, resource and staffing challenges limit the ability of correctional institutions to adapt to shifts in threats and to adjust security and staffing strategies over time. Furthermore, a perpetual lack of empirical data hampers efforts to effectively develop interventions to address threats. Addressing the research needs and developing the tools and resources — as prioritized by the workshop participants — is one route to providing correctional institutions the support needed to confront security threats going forward.
The research described in this report was prepared for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.
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