The Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute is a nonprofit organization that works to promote and enable technology to maximize safety, efficiency, and productivity in the public sector. Their white paper Corrections Tech 2020: Technological Trends in Custodial and Community Corrections, describes the role of innovative technology, and the areas it can be used to address current and future correctional needs. “The corrections industry is going through a period of considerable business change, in which technology is acting as both a response to changing demand and an innovative surplus to further changes.”
As the technology landscape becomes more complex, agencies will need to reevaluate how to best invest their dollars to meet current and future needs, and still maintain a secure infrastructure. The eight trends outlined in this white paper include:
Alternative to Incarceration: As reform efforts work to relieve jail and prison overcrowding, there is a considerable need for electronic monitoring technology that allows public and private agencies to share data. Diversion strategies and legislative reform to combat high incarceration rates will perpetuate the need for electronic monitoring.
Cost Avoidance and Reducing Workloads: Agencies will continue to embrace new technology to reduce over-extended correctional budgets and officer caseloads. Automated software and easily optimized electronic monitoring technology that is flexible and configurable will be in high demand.
Increased Mobility: Rapid mobile transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to be a primary focus. Officers will rely on unified communications (UC) tools that offer single-platform integrated communication and collaboration tools. Individuals under supervision will use their own devices to actively participate in their monitoring. Agencies will take special interest in locked-down devices, wearables, and products that feature wireless access.
Big Data and Advanced Analytics: Solutions that aggregate greater volumes of data in real-time for more complex devices will be more prevalent. The demand for Real-Time Crime Centers (RTTCs) that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline data, social media surveillance, and predictive modeling will increase to enhance public safety.
Evidence-based Population Management: As the industry continues to rely on AI and data analytics, agencies will look for educational technology which includes risk and needs assessments and evidence-based solutions proven to reduce recidivism. A focus will be on devices that offer community resources including access to healthcare, housing, and employment.
Expanded Information Sharing: Correctional agencies will shift from operating in silos to national information sharing standards. Collaboration efforts across multiple agencies will make data readily available to criminal justice, public safety, emergency and disaster management, and intelligence agencies.
Cloud Services and Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity has been a major concern for decades, and with the rise of new technology and the shift to cloud-managed software, companies are becoming increasingly more vulnerable. Electronic monitoring providers that house client data will be subject to strict government regulations and audits, resulting in significant investment to abide by these standards.
Standards and Policy: The evolution of technical standards to improve the effectiveness and reliability of electronic monitoring solutions is expected to increase significantly. Electronic monitoring equipment will have to meet rigorous business standards, legislation, and accreditations to demonstrate compliance with growing cybersecurity concerns.
The demand for electronic monitoring products and services is on the rise and expected to increase exponentially in the coming years, as diversion strategies release more individuals to community supervision. Interconnected technology, cloud-based software platforms, and AI analytics have the opportunity to evolve community corrections in many positive ways. As a result, agencies will have to become increasingly more strategic as to where to best invest their funds and evaluate their electronic monitoring programs and providers…
Joe Newell, Senior Director of Research & Development at BI Incorporated, provides background on BI’s strategy to stay ahead of the game, “Our mission is to explore technology concepts and ideas that lead to the creation of reliable and forward-thinking products and solutions. We partner with world-class universities and emerging technology companies, and we continually evaluate and research future-ready hardware, software, and services. Just because a technology is the new media darling, it doesn’t mean that it’s ready for use in the community corrections realm.”
BI Incorporated takes pride in developing products and services that are ready for the rigors of electronic monitoring. Our diverse continuum of products and solutions provides supervision options for all populations and is easily scalable to meet the needs of any size agency.
To read the complete white paper, visit the National Institute of Corrections.