Ohio Takes Big Step By Sending Body Cams To All Prisons – Bharat Times Hindi News

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Ohio will deploy more than 5,000 body cameras to all 28 prisons and its adult parole authority offices by May, the director of the state corrections agency said Thursday.

The agency signed a five-year contract with Scottsdale, Arizona-based Axon, for cameras worth $6.9 million in the first year and just $3 million annually in the future, a cost that covers remote storage of cameras and footage.

Ohio is the first state to deploy full-body cameras in its prisons, and its program is the largest of any corrections department globally, Zachary Austin, director of the company’s Department of Corrections, said in a statement.

The agency is at the forefront of public safety technology, Austin said.

The cameras will complement the approximately 6,000 stationary cameras already in place in Ohio prisons. They are not the ultimate solution to violence in prisons, but another tool to protect guards and prisoners, said Annette Chambers-Smith, director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

He said this is just one piece in a broader plan to make our prisons as safe as possible for the people who live and work in them.

He said: The camera is a true witness, unbiased. And we will have more information than ever before.

With the rollout, Ohio State joins a growing number of prison systems that equip guards with body cameras, even in environments already covered by thousands of stationary security cameras. .

The agency prepared about 550 supervisors with cameras in all Ohio prisons by the end of last month and will now begin deploying another 4,500 observers across the state, starting with the state Supermax prison in Youngstown, Ohio State Penitentiary. In some cases the electrical work must be completed first, Chambers-Smith said.

In general, activating the cameras is up to the guard, although some will have automatic triggers, such as guards pulling pepper spray canisters or parole officers drawing their guns. Chambers-Smith said control room officials may also be able to deploy the cameras automatically.

The cameras will include a lookback function that will provide up to 90 seconds of full audio and video footage before the camera is activated. Chambers-Smith said individual cameras will also store up to 18 hours of sound-free video that can be reviewed.

The Ohio Prison Guards Union questioned the need for cameras, saying it would be better to spend the money on more staff. Chambers-Smith said buying the camera system is separate from an ongoing initiative to hire more guards, but staff shortages related to the pandemic have made this difficult.

The agency told cameras that a pilot program last year saw a reduction in overtime, prison violence and use of force by guards.

The Ohio agency launched an investigation into the issue after a California judge ordered body cameras for guards at a state prison in San Diego following allegations of abuse of inmates with disabilities. California later expanded the cameras to five other prisons.

In November, the state agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a trial brought by an Ohio prisoner while being evacuated by prison guards at Chilicothe Correctional Institute. Last January, a prisoner was killed during a scuffle with guards at a correctional reception center in the Orient.

Chambers-Smith said the body camera plans from those episodes were already in the works, but he underscored the importance of deploying them.

Florida, Georgia, New York, Virginia and Wisconsin are among other states that have tested or implemented certain types of body cameras in prisons.

Disclaimer: This post has been self-published from the agency feed without modification and has not been reviewed by an editor

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