Ohio prison system implementing body cameras on staff

Prison and parole staff will be outfitted with body cameras, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation...
Prison and parole staff will be outfitted with body cameras, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Annette Chambers-Smith announced Thursday.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:55 PM CST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - Prison and parole staff will be outfitted with body cameras, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Annette Chambers-Smith announced Thursday.

The first phase of implementation started last month and included staff training and the deployment of approximately 550 body-worn cameras for security supervisors in all of Ohio’s prisons.

The complete plan includes the deployment of an additional 4,550 cameras which will be assigned to specifically-identified prison posts and individual parole officers in the Adult Parole Authority.

The goal is to complete the full rollout of the body-worn cameras throughout the first half of 2022.

“These cameras will supplement our existing stationary camera systems and will help to capture areas we otherwise may not be able to see,” said Director Chambers-Smith. 

“This is ultimately about safety, transparency and accountability for everyone who works or lives in our prisons,” she added.

Chambers-Smith announced a pilot project to test the use of body cameras in Ohio’s prisons in June 2021. 

The pilot program involving two prisons and two Adult Parole Authority regions, concluded in October.

The body cameras, equipment and storage, are funded through a combination of federal CARES Act money approved by the Controlling Board, grant funding from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, and DRC’s operating budget. 

The systems are expected to cost approximately $6.9 million for 2022 and approximately $3.3 million over the following four years.

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