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Press Release Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Announces Pilot Program for the Use of Body-Worn Cameras by Correctional Officers at the Massachusetts Department of Correction

New Initiative Aims to Increase Overall Safety and Advance Transparency and Accountability
For immediate release:
1/27/2022
  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • Massachusetts Department of Correction

Media Contact for Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Announces Pilot Program for the Use of Body-Worn Cameras by Correctional Officers at the Massachusetts Department of Correction

Elaine Driscoll, Director of Communications and Policy

BostonToday, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC), announced a pilot program to outfit correctional officers with Body-Worn Cameras (BWC). The DOC’s first-time use of officer-worn body cameras will launch at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center (SBCC), a maximum-security facility. EOPSS and the DOC began exploring the use of BWCs several months ago as part of continued efforts to enhance operational systems, improve safety for inmates and correctional officers, and advance transparency and accountability.

“Implementing this BWC pilot program reinforces our commitment to advancing the safety of correctional officers and those entrusted to their care. The program affords us the opportunity to explore how this technology can improve operational efficiency and enhance the value of transparency in our institutions,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. 

The pilot program’s objectives are three-fold:

  • Enhance communication and collaboration among DOC staff.
  • Support improved interactions between staff and inmates.
  • Strengthen transparency and accountability.

The initial deployment of BWCs is anticipated to begin in Summer 2022 at SBCC. Once deployed, they will augment the facility’s comprehensive network of existing stationary cameras.

“The Department supports implementation of the BWC pilot program to study how this advanced technology can serve an important role in correctional operations. This innovative tool has a proven track record of improving safety, providing valuable documentation for evidentiary purposes, resolving officer-involved incidents, and offering a useful training tool for the Department and its officers,” said DOC Commissioner Carol Mici.

The Baker-Polito Administration will invest $1 million in a two-phase pilot program, with funding included in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal. The pilot’s first phase will concentrate on technology needs, including an overall assessment of the body-camera style most conducive to the environment and an analysis of the technology needed by a DOC facility to effectively administer the program.

The pilot’s second phase will focus on operational implementation. A research team will evaluate the initial roll-out of the two-phased pilot program over several months. Information related to evidence collection, records retention, storage requirements and other operational matters will be assessed for best practices. Researchers will also evaluate internal data and key metrics to determine the program’s effectiveness and facilitate evidence-based policy decisions regarding programmatic next steps.

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Media Contact for Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Announces Pilot Program for the Use of Body-Worn Cameras by Correctional Officers at the Massachusetts Department of Correction

Executive Office of Public Safety and Security 

EOPSS is responsible for the policy development and budgetary oversight of its secretariat agencies, independent programs, and several boards which aid in crime prevention, homeland security preparedness, and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Department of Correction 

The Department of Correction oversees the state prison system, managing inmates at 15 institutions across the state.
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