Technology in Corrections - Body Cameras
"A Market Survey on Body-Worn Camera Technologies provides a landscape view of the claimed key attributes of 66 commercially available body-worn camera models offered by 38 vendors and four stand-alone body-worn camera video management software systems. APL developed the information contained in this survey primarily through an Internet search, supplemented by a request for information published in the Federal Register and outreach to vendors. The attributes considered in the report include, but are not limited to: suggested retail price, weight and dimensions; capability of the body-worn camera to record footage in low light; size and weight; capability to record audio; and length of time the body-worn camera can record without the need to recharge the battery. The report contains a summary table allowing a quick side-by-side comparison of the attributes of the body-worn camera and detailed information on each camera."
"A Primer on Body-Worn Camera Technology provides information to agency policymakers concerning considerations — including policy and training considerations— for integrating body-worn cameras into current systems and the legal implications associated with adoption of body-worn cameras. It also provides a summary of the information found in A Market Survey on Body-Worn Camera Technologies."
"This toolkit is a comprehensive clearinghouse for criminal justice practitioners interested in planning and implementing a body-worn camera program in an effort to strengthen community trust and confidence in the justice system and improve officer and community safety." Each entry point begins with a description of that section and a video from the series "Subject Matter Experts Share". Points of entry to this website are: getting started—"Toolkit Welcome Message" from Denise O'Donnell , implementation, the "Law Enforcement Implementation Checklist", "Why Trust This Toolkit", FAQs (frequently asked questions), primer, market survey, and reports; research—"NIC Overview on BWCs" by Nancy Rodriguez, FAQs, reports, testimony, and studies; policy—"Prosecution Perspective on BWCS" by Damon Mosler, FAQs, guides, guidelines, and policies; technology—"BWC Technology Review" by Maggie Goodrich, FAQs, primer, market survey, reports, webinar, and best practices; privacy—"Privacy Perspective on BWC's" by Jay Stanley, FAQs, reports, guidelines, best practices, and webinars; training—"BWC Training Recommendations" from Hampshire Constabulary, UK, FAQs, primer, policies, guidelines, and webinar; and community stakeholders—"Defense Attorney Perspective on BWCs" by Seth Morris, FAQs, reports, model policy, and guidelines.
"The use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by criminal justice practitioners (e.g., patrol, corrections, SWAT and other tactical responders) offers potential advantages in keep¬ing officers safe, enabling situational awareness, improving community relations and accountability, and providing evidence for trial. These products are also sometimes called officer-worn or wearable cameras. In the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic increase in the criminal justice use, public and media attention and commercial offerings of BWCs. This market survey report aggregates and summarizes information on commercial BWCs to aid criminal justice practitioners considering planning, acquisition and implementation of the technology in their agency" (p. 1). Profiles are provided for 18 BWCs. Also included is the "BWC Technical Summary Comparison".
Correctional agencies will find this information very valuable. "The purpose of this assessment was to obtain information on body-worn video cameras that will be useful in making operational and procurement decisions. The activities associated with this assessment were based on recommendations from a focus group of emergency responders with experience using body-worn video cameras" (p. vi). Evaluation criteria consisted of affordability, capability, deployability, maintainability, and usability. Seven products are assessed: Safety Vision LLC Prima Facie Body Camera; TASER International Inc. AXON Flex; Pinnacle Response Ltd. PR5; Black Mamba Protection LLC BMPpro+; VIEVU LLC LE3; Digital Ally Inc. FirstVu HD; and Wolfcom Enterprises Wolfcom 3rd Eye Police Body Camera. Product advantages and disadvantages are noted in a table.
"To date, little research is available to help law enforcement executives decide whether and how to implement the use of body-worn cameras in their departments." This website provides access to information that will help in making these decisions. Topics discussed on this website are organized according to: research on body-worn cameras and law enforcement; ongoing NIJ-funded research on body-worn cameras; Primer on Body-Worn Cameras for Law Enforcement; market survey of body-worn cameras for criminal justice; and other resources.
"The recent emergence of body-worn cameras has already had an impact on policing, and this impact will only increase as more agencies adopt this technology. The decision to implement body-worn cameras should not be entered into lightly. Once an agency goes down the road of deploying body-worn cameras—and once the public comes to expect the availability of video records—it will become increasingly difficult to have second thoughts or to scale back a body-worn camera program … Body-worn cameras can help improve the high-quality public service expected of police officers and promote the perceived legitimacy and sense of procedural justice that communities have about their police departments. Furthermore, departments that are already deploying body-worn cameras tell us that the presence of cameras often improves the performance of officers as well as the conduct of the community members who are recorded" (p. v). Three chapters comprise this report: perceived benefits of body-worn cameras; considerations for implementation; and body-worn camera recommendations. An appendix provides a Recommendations Matrix.
"As in-jail deaths such as those of Sandra Bland in Texas and Natasha McKenna in Virginia’s Fairfax County attract the same scrutiny as police-involved fatalities, a growing number of agencies nationwide are bringing body cameras behind bars. It is the latest bid to improve transparency in law enforcement and takes the devices into a world where interactions almost always happen away from the public eye."
Body-worn cameras are recording devices police officers wear as part of their uniforms to document what they see as they perform their duties. Body cameras continue to be a significant focus for state law makers as they consider and enact legislation to address police-community relations. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have created laws for body cameras.
If you want a great source for information body-worn cameras (BWC's), then this is the place. Links are organized according to: model and specimen policies; reports and studies; legislation and interpretations; general litigation; privacy issues; Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and litigation; training documents; scholarly articles; disciplinary actions; eavesdropping laws; and selected links.