Body-Worn Cameras in State Correctional Agencies

Kristi L. Greenberg, University of New Haven

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to inform and advise state correctional agencies about the known use of body worn cameras (BWCs) and how they can be utilized to address some of the major problems that are faced within correctional settings. Discussions of what is known about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), use of force, and staff burnout are offered, along with consideration of policing research on the use of BWCs, its advantages and disadvantages, and how state correctional agencies can benefit. Policy recommendations are offered that include a phased roll out of BWCs in pilot facilities, with monitoring and evaluation plans, in conjunction with enhanced training.



  • This report outlines major problems faced in correctional settings
  • Provides a summarization of known policing data on BWCs
  • Outlines three possible courses of action
  • Makes a policy recommendation

Policy Recommendations:

  • Implement the use of BWCs in state correctional agencies
  • Implement training programs to support proper use of BWCs and to educate on related departmental policies
  • Implement departmental policies that enhance the support of the rank and file from top level and mid-management
  • Create research evaluation plans for pre- and post-BWC implementation


This report presents an overview of how implementing body worn cameras (BWCs) in state correctional agencies can resolve a number of issues experienced by departments, as well as increase the perceived fairness of officers by inmate populations. Agencies nationwide need to ask what role BWCs can play in achieving safer facilities. Can BWCs provide assistance to both staff and inmates? Can BWCs help identify who should take responsibility for a particular event, such as a Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) claim or use of force incident? Finally, can BWCs offer an unbiased account that serves as evidence in these events or even lawsuits? Corrections has lagged behind policing in the implementation of BWCs. The use of this technology will be shown to have more advantages than disadvantages, and as a result, the primary recommendation is to implement BWCs, with corresponding monitoring and evaluation plans.


Correctional agencies face the difficult task of maintaining safe and secure facilities for staff and inmates alike (Lambert, Hogan, Griffin, & Kelley, 2015). While it is well known that working within a correctional setting is a dangerous profession, inmates sentenced to these facilities similarly face violent situations and potential sexual victimization (Johnson Listwan, Daigle, Hartman, & Guastaferro, 2014; Lambert, Minor, Gordon, Wells, & Hogan, 2018). Prison administrators have the responsibility of keeping staff and inmates safe. They are tasked with evaluating new ways to increase safety and minimize victimization. BWCs are a new opportunity to achieve that goal.

PREA was passed in 2003 and included a mandatory provision for the US Department of Justice to track sexual abuse in correctional facilities (Struckman-Johnson, Struckman-Johnson, Kruse, Gross, & Sumners, 2013). The most recent information available was reported in July of 2018 from the DOJ (Rantala, 2018). This research indicates that since national standards of reporting were implemented in 2012, outlining specific data to be reported, along with a mandate to provide education for inmates, medical and mental health care for victims, and an investigation for each incident, the number of allegations deemed to be unfounded increased. Overall, from 2011 to 2015, the number of allegations in prisons increased by 180% (Rantala, 2018, p. 5). Investigations completed during the years 2012-2015 determined that only 8% of the allegations were substantiated (Rantala, 2018, p. 7). Inmates and staff both may be victims or perpetrators of these inappropriate actions, and it is possible that the implementation of BWCs will reduce the likelihood of their occurrence. BWCs, during a staff assault, may be utilized to identify a perpetrator. Likewise, staff who assault inmates may be less willing to risk their own identification as a perpetrator through the use of camera footage. The cameras help deter false claims and aggressive behavior on behalf of both inmates and staff (Rogers, 2018). The belief that a presence of a camera will deter negative behaviors generally applies to this scenario as well (van Rompay, Vonk, & Fransen, 2009).

PREA is a serious issue, but few studies have been conducted to fully understand the nature and scope of the problem, although the availability of grants through the federal government to investigate these allegations has helped. It has been found that in “84% of sexual relationships perpetrated by female staff, [inmates] ‘appeared to be willing’ compared to 37% of those perpetrated by male staff” (Beck, 2015, p. 13). This apparent or perceived willingness, despite the illegality of the acts, may be deterred with BWCs. Feelings of being unsafe are incurred by inmates who are sexually victimized by staff. These actions not only cause harm to inmates, but also lead to unsafe facilities, as inmates may manipulate these staff members into introducing dangerous contraband into the facility (Beck, 2015).

Knowing it is a problem is only part of the issue; identifying ways to prevent sexual victimization is imperative. In the PREA guidelines, steps have been taken nationwide in an effort to prevent sexual assault. A zero-tolerance policy has aided in changing the culture of secrecy around these events (NICIC, 2019). However, opinions of staff and inmates may lend to more ideas that could help in the desistance of the abuse. Some suggestions include hiring more staff, improving prison security, reducing overcrowding, having inmates engage in avoidance strategies, managing sexual predators, and improving surveillance, which could reduce blind spots (Struckman-Johnson et al., 2013). This belief in the value of increased surveillance on behalf of both staff and inmates lends itself to the implementation of BWCs.

Use of Force and Other Benefits

In a correctional setting, uses of force are a common occurrence. Departments have set policies on appropriate use of force and instances where use of force is acceptable. Despite available guidelines and rules, uses of force may sometimes either be avoidable or taken too far (Martin, 2006; Ross, 2013; Tramell & Rundle, 2015). Relatedly, Wood and Buttaro (2013) discovered “more than 1 of every 10 state prison inmates was physically assaulted or charged with [or] convicted of physically assaulting others during … [their current] incarceration” (p. 527). This high prevalence of violence has been found to be associated with distracted staff members who fail to pay close attention to inmates, a perceived instance of disrespect between staff and inmate (or inmate to inmate), a seriously mentally ill inmate or those with dual diagnoses, or a personal issue with a particular staff member or other inmate (Lahm, 2009; Tramell & Rundle, 2015; Wood & Buttaro, 2013). Aggression levels may increase at a moment’s notice, and without a BWC, there may not be any recording of what led up to an incident and ultimately how escalation of force was used.

While inmates present an inherent risk to each other and staff members, there are also unfortunate incidents of staff abusing their power. Inmates are well aware of their lower status while incarcerated and have been shown to observe staff behavior, which at times includes staff berating each other or other inmates (Tramell & Rundell, 2015). This behavior is then internalized as acceptable to inmates and can have dangerous consequences (Tramell & Rundle, 2015). Deviant officers do exist amongst the ranks. Therefore, in addition to poor behavior that is observed by inmates, a small percentage are observed being drunk on the job, abusing their authority, smuggling contraband, sexually harassing fellow co-workers, discriminating against inmates, and using excessive force (Ross, 2013). It is here where the presence of BWCs may be most effective. Excessive force, or force that started at an appropriate level but went too far, presents risks to staff and inmates (Martin, 2006).

The violence experienced by staff also has been shown to have consequences leading to burnout and PTSD (Boudouka, Altintas, Fantini-Hauwel, & Hautekeete, 2013). Being exposed to violence regularly, both directly and indirectly, leads to emotional exhaustion and disengagement in duties for staff members (Isenhardt & Hostettler, 2016). This high rate of burnout costs departments money in terms of employee retention and also leads to unsafe facilities.

BWCs have the potential to deter some of this violence, which has clear positive outcomes for staff and inmates. When used in train stations, the presence of BWCs reduced assaults on staff by 26% (Ariel, Newton, McEwan, Ashbridge, Weinbord, & Sabo Brants, 2019). BWCs also have been used to provide evidence against false claims in both corrections and policing. In corrections, for example, inmates who resist instruction are recorded, and officers’ actions may be proven to be appropriate. In policing, the recordings from BWCs have been used in court proceedings and prosecutions (Groff, Ward, & Wartell, 2018). Cameras may also provide insights into prison uprisings, which could be used to prosecute inmates who are the catalyst of a problem, along with those who choose to engage in large scale events and would otherwise go unidentified (Rogers, 2017).

Organizational Interests

State correctional agencies have a duty to ensure they run safe and secure facilities. To accomplish this, policies and directives are outlined that aim to achieve that goal. Evidence provided by BWC footage is an additional tool for agencies to use in meeting their expectations. BWCs provide evidence of events that can be used for prosecution, intelligence gathering, and ideally as a deterrent of negative behavior by staff and inmates. BWCs also provide some protection against frivolous lawsuits, offer unbiased accounts of use of force occurrences, and show actions surrounding some inmate deaths, which will combat false information being spread via mainstream and social media.

Pre-existing policies

Correctional agencies in the US are in the early stages of implementing BWCs. The Atlanta Department of Corrections was the first to implement BWCs in a correctional setting in 2016. Later that same year, Tulare County, California received grant funding to outfit their correctional deputies with BWCs (Rogers, 2018). In 2017, Nevada received funding to utilize BWCs “during high-risk events” (Rogers, 2018, p. 38). These recent but small steps toward BWC implementation in correctional facilities has revealed that agencies will face similar issues as previously experienced by police agencies. The need to define policies, train officers, configure data storage, and reduce resistance to implementation are felt both outside and inside the prison walls (Rogers, 2017). Correctional agencies can rely on pre-existing policies and research on the use of BWCs in policing to help implement proper procedures for prison settings.

Use of force and complaints

Any instance of use of force in law enforcement is scrutinized. The question is, can BWCs reduce uses of force and complaints? Rialto, CA laid the groundwork for this area of study. In examination of the implementation of BWCs in Rialto, it was determined that police uses of force and citizen complaints were reduced (Ariel, Farrar, & Sutherland, 2015). In Las Vegas, NV, officers who wore BWCs had an 11.5% reduction in uses of force and a 16.5% reduction in complaints (Braga, Sousa, Coldren & Rodriguez, 2018). Complaints also were found to be reduced by 93% across seven police agencies after BWC implementation (Ariel, Sutherland, Henstock, Young, Drover, Sykes, Megicks, & Henderson, 2017). This information speaks to the benefit of BWCs; however, some research discovered no effect between the rates of use of force between jurisdictions with and without BWCs (Ariel, Sutherland, Henstock, Young, Drover, Sykes, Megicks, & Henderson, 2016). The implementation of BWCs must be accompanied by research in a correctional setting to determine if the benefits outweigh any potential negative consequences.

Ferguson effect

In policing, there has been concern regarding the Ferguson effect, or the hesitation for an officer to act due to fear of being involved in a controversial use of force incident (Shjarback, Pyrooz, Wolfe, & Decker, 2017). The implementation of BWCs in correctional facilities may induce similar beliefs now that footage can be obtained and used once an incident is over. However, it has been shown that the use of this footage can assist in increasing the community’s belief in police legitimacy and accountability (Schneider, 2018). Research also has shown that once BWCs were implemented, police were actually more proactive than officers who did not wear BWCs (Wallace, White, Gaub, & Todak, 2018). Conversely, in Phoenix, AZ, police officers believed that the presence of a BWC would make an officer “more passive, resulting in fewer citizen contacts” (Gaub, Choate, Todak, Katz, & White, 2016, p. 286). This highlights the need for training programs for correctional staff on the use of BWCs, expectations of staff, and the benefits BWCs provide.

Camera effect

The cameras themselves have been hypothesized to deter generalized negative behavior and promote prosocial behavior. In a correctional setting, this could mean the difference between an inmate assaulting a staff member or choosing not to, due to the real threat of prosecution as a result of video evidence. Policing data shows that BWCs increased citizens’ willingness to make reports to the police and aided in the de-escalation of incidents (Ariel, 2016; Braga et al., 2018). BWC use in specialized units also was found to have positive outcomes. During searches and arrests, or even deployment of a K9, BWCs provided evidence of proper procedure on behalf of the officers. Accusations that improper searches were conducted, or K9 warnings as required by policy were not given, were easily refuted through the use of the BWC footage. Crisis negotiators also used the footage to aide their defense when sued, in instances where they failed to prevent an individual from committing suicide. Overall, the documentation supports staff members and indicates when proper procedure and protocol were followed (Gaub, Todak, & White, 2018).


Important reviews of officer and detainee perceptions have been conducted in police settings, which support policies that should be implemented in corrections. Examining how the presence of BWCs can affect officer and citizen behavior should guide how policies are written. Officers generally feel BWCs are protective against false complaints, and that citizens who notice the camera or are told they are being recorded generally exhibit a positive change in their behavior (Wood & Groff, 2019). Many also believe that BWCs have evidentiary value (Gaub et al., 2016; Wood & Groff, 2019). The general consensus from current research shows that officers, once they start using BWCs, have a positive view of them, and those who do not initially agree with their use generally view them more favorably over time (Lum, Stoltz, Koper, & Scherer, 2019). However, officers’ perceptions of BWCs do vary by department, as some were more skeptical of BWCs and did not see the benefits. These noted perceptions are important points to include in departmental trainings prior to BWC implementation, and also for continued training post-implementation.

Those detained in police custody also shed light on the use of BWCs. In Australia, detainees were noted to have positive views on officer use of BWCs (Lee, Taylor, & Willis, 2018). The majority felt it was a good idea for officers to wear them and felt the presence of the camera actually had an effect on the behavior of the police officer during an arrest. Further, detainees felt that BWCs increased transparency, provided protection for the officer and themselves, increased police accountability, and resulted in less aggression from both sides (Lee et al., 2018). This information may foreshadow what inmates potentially will perceive from the use of BWCs. Understanding their reactions to the technology and perceptions of how it will either help or hurt inmates will aide departments in providing the appropriate amount of information to incarcerated populations. Targeting this information to bolster inmate feelings of safety and perceived fairness likely will lead to safer facilities.


As noted earlier in this report, staff in correctional settings are exposed to high levels of violence, and in turn, are likely to develop burnout and PTSD. Only one study to date is able to provide insights into the link between BWCs and officer burnout. The results are of key importance to the implementation of effective policies on BWCs in prisons. Police officers who wore BWCs were found to be more likely to experience burnout compared to officers who did not wear the cameras (Adams & Mastracci, 2019). Furthermore, officers wearing BWCs perceived a lower level of organizational support compared to those without BWCs (Adams & Mastracci, 2019). The bottom line is that this research suggests the presence of BWCs increases burnout in officers and decreases their perception of organizational support. This in turn means that when correctional agencies implement BWCs, they must include training programs and support systems that reach the front-line staff. The officers must feel supported and know that the cameras are not in place just to get them in trouble. It is clear that without this support, burnout rates may be higher, which in turn can lead to PTSD, contributing to employee turnover and costly training of new employees (rather than retaining seasoned and experienced staff).

Policy Options

Overall, available evidence suggests the following policy options:

  1. Implement BWCs in state correctional facilities with new training programs for front-line staff and management;
  2. Choose not to implement BWCs; or
  3. Create a phased implementation plan with pilot implementation sites where randomized controlled trials can be conducted on the effects of BWC implementation. BWC training for front-line staff and management would be implemented simultaneously.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Option 1:

Implement BWCs in state correctional facilities with new training programs for front-line staff and management.



Immediate documentation of use of force, complaints, and PREA incidents

Expense of purchasing the equipment and training staff

Opportunity to decrease aggression with the perception that the cameras are now observing negative behavior

Unforeseen privacy issues

Staff receive additional training

Issues with storing or sharing footage


Option 2:

Choose not to implement BWCs



No costs of obtaining BWCs

No possible benefits from the BWCs

Able to wait and see results of other BWC implementation without exposing the department to the experimental phase

No additional training for staff

No pushback from staff as a result of BWC implementation

No additional video evidence of events


Option 3:

Create a phased implementation plan with pilot implementation sites where randomized controlled trials can be conducted on the effects of BWC implementation. BWC training for front-line staff and management would be implemented simultaneously.



Controlled and monitored implementation with monitoring of effects

Risk of implementation without knowing all of the effects in a correctional setting

Offer new and enhanced training to officers

Possible privacy issues

Possess evidence of use of force incidents, some PREA incidents, and other interactions between staff and inmates that can be used in investigations and lawsuits to protect the department

Possible negative staff perceptions and resistance

The ‘camera effect’ in which behavior is positively modified in the presence of a camera

Costs of equipment and training


Policy Recommendations

After considering the noted advantages and disadvantages, along with available research, it is recommended that state correctional agencies create a phased implementation plan with pilot sites, where randomized controlled trials can be conducted on the effects of BWC implementation. BWC training for front-line staff and management should be implemented simultaneously. This recommendation is based on the known problems that exist within correctional settings, including but not limited to, PREA complaints, use of force, and staff burnout. Relying on the previous research on BWCs in police agencies, it appears that BWCs offer more advantages than disadvantages. BWCs have been shown to reduce use of force, reduce citizen complaints, enhance citizen and police behavior, and with the proper support may reduce the harm caused to staff as a result of their frequent exposure to violence. There are still unknown effects of the use of BWCs, due to their relatively new implementation, and there are no known studies on the effects of BWCs within a correctional setting. As such, the pilot rollout of phased implementation that can be monitored and evaluated will provide not only potential immediate benefits of the BWCs, but invaluable information about their use within prisons. This will set the standard for all other correctional agencies who choose to implement BWCs. As a result, experimental agencies will be at the forefront of the next wave of correctional practices.

Initial Impact Assessment

One initial option for the implementation and evaluation of BWCs in state correctional agencies is to conduct a controlled study that focuses on understanding the impact of BWCs. The results of the study would provide information that agencies can use to determine if BWCs align with their agency’s mission. The study would provide facts that would shed light on a previously unknown use of BWCs, PREA complaints, staff perceptions, and if any issues arise. This study could create the foundation for future evaluation research to be conducted.

Agencies should select pilot facilities that are able to be matched with similar facilities in regard to security classification, inmate population, and if possible, geographic location to receive BWCs. Correction officers in pilot facilities should be randomly assigned across all shifts to wear BWCs. This use of specific test sites and a random selection of officers overcomes limitations seen in policing research that either used shifts as the experimental unit or permitted officers to voluntarily participate (see Ariel, 2016; Ariel et al, 2017; Ariel et al., 2015; Braga et al., 2018). The random assignment enables a myriad of job post types and locations to be included without requiring the purchase of enough BWCs for each officer.

Agencies should implement a training course on BWCs for the officers who will be issued the device prior to the camera being issued. The course should cover topics that include how to operate the BWC, the intended purpose of BWC implementation, how the video will be reviewed and utilized, when the officer is expected to activate the BWC, and other information departments deem necessary.

Once necessary staff are trained, the pilot phase should last for a period of one year. Agency records should then be utilized to assess numbers of use of force and PREA complaints that occur. Interviews or surveys should be conducted with staff regarding their perceptions of BWCs, organizational support, and perceived levels of staff burnout. This same data should be collected from the matched facilities that do not have BWCs. Findings from this initial study then can be used to guide further research and implementation of BWCs in correctional settings.

Annotated Bibliography

Adams, I., & Mastracci, S. (2019). Police body-worn cameras: Effects on officers’ burnout and perceived organizational support. Police Quarterly, 22(1), 5-30.

Study of five police departments to assess burnout and perceptions of organizational support among officers. Found that perceived organizational support is lower for officers wearing BWCs and officers wearing BWCs report higher levels of burnout. Conclusion is that a perception of organizational support mediates the effects of BWCs.

Ariel, B. (2016). Increasing cooperation with the police using body worn cameras. Police Quarterly, 19(3), 326-362.

Study utilized hot spots in Denver to ascertain what, if any, effect BWCs had on deterring crime and crime reporting. They found no difference in the overall deterrent effect, but an increase in people’s willingness to report. Raises important questions about the ability to effectively study the effects of BWCs.

Ariel, B., Farrar, W. A., & Sutherland, A. (2015). The effect of police body-worn cameras on use of force and citizens’ complaints against the police: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 31, 509-535.

An early study of the effects of BWCs on police use-of-force and citizen complaints against the police. Utilized one department with a small sample size and the shift worked as the unit of analysis. Results laid the groundwork for future studies.

Ariel, B., Newton, M., McEwan, L., Ashrbidge, G. A., Weinborn, C., & Sabo Brants, H. (2019). Reducing assaults against staff using body-worn cameras (BWCs) in railway stations. Criminal Justice Review, 44(1), 76-93.

Randomized-controlled trial of train operating company employees. Provides information on BWC effectiveness outside of policing.

Ariel, B., Sutherland, A., Henstock, D., Young, J., Drover, P., Sykes, J., Megicks, S., & Henderson, R. (2016). Wearing body cameras increases assaults against officers and does not reduce police use of force: Results from a global multi-site experiment. European Journal of Criminology, 13(6), 744-755.

Utilized randomized-controlled trials at ten sites to examine the effect of BWCs on officer assault and officer use of force. Results were not as expected and showed an increase in both officers being assaulted and officers using force while wearing the BWCs.

Ariel, B., Sutherland, A., Henstock, D., Young, J., Drover, P., Sykes, J., Megicks, S., & Henderson, R. (2017). A global multisite randomized controlled trial on the effect of police body-worn cameras on citizens’ complaints against the police. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 44(2), 293-316.

Study sought to replicate the results of the Rialto study across seven other testing sites that agreed to the same experimental protocol. Results were consistent with Rialto and lend evidence toward BWCs being effective at reducing complaints against police.

Beck, A. J. (2015). Staff sexual misconduct: Implications of PREA for women working in corrections. Justice Research and Policy, 16(1), 8-36.

Study compiles data from large national surveys of adults in prison and jail and youth in juvenile facilities to provide specific information regarding what is known about female staff sexual misconduct. Provides avenues for further study as well as areas that should be focused on for correctional policies to prevent sexual misconduct.

Boudoukha, A. H., Altintas, E., Rusinek, S., & Hautekeete, M. (2013). Inmates-to-staff assaults, PTSD and burnout: Profiles of risk and vulnerability. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28(11), 2332-2350.

Studied French correctional workers with job seniority ranging from 6 months to 30 years with the Impact of Event Scale Revised IES-R, the Maslach Burnout Inventory MBI, and a stress questionnaire. Purpose of the study was to examine burnout and PTSD among those workers who have experienced violence from inmates.

Braga, A. A., Sousa, W. H., Coldren, Jr., J. R., & Rodriguez, D. (2018). The effects of body-worn cameras on police activity and police-citizen encounters: A randomized controlled trial. Criminology, 108(3), 511-538.

A randomized controlled trial of BWCs in Las Vegas, NV PD. Evaluated treatment and control officers over a one-year period and found reductions in use of force and complaints for officers in the treatment group relative to those in the control group. Provides a basis of support for BWC implementation.

Gaub, J. E., Choate, D. E., Todak, N., Katz, C. M., & White, M. D. (2016). Officer perceptions of body-worn cameras before and after deployment: A study of three departments. Police Quarterly, 19(3), 275-302.

Study utilizes a randomized-controlled trial to compare officer perceptions of BWCs across three police departments both before and after their implementation. Results fell within three broad categories: evidentiary value, comfort and ease of use, and positive effects.

Gaub, J. E., Todak, N., & White, M. D. (2018). One size doesn’t fit all: The deployment of police body-worn cameras to specialty units. International Criminal Justice Review, XX(X), 1-20.

Utilizes a previous randomized-controlled trial data set to expand into focus groups of officers assigned to Specialty Units and their perceptions of BWCs. Generally, similar beliefs and concerns were raised on their patrol counterparts. Other specialty unit specific concerns and uses were discussed for BWCs.

Groff, E.R., Ward, J.T., & Wartell, J. (2018). The role of body-worn camera footage in the decision to file. Report for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Philadelphia, PA: Criminal Justice Department, Temple University.

Reports examines ways in which BWC footage is used in the decision to either prosecute or not. Highlights the ways in which BWC footage assists or hinders that decision.

Isenhardt, A., Hostettler, U. (2016). Inmate violence and correctional staff burnout: The role of sense of security, gender, and job characteristics. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-35. doi:10.1177/0886260516681156.

Study sought to measure correctional staff burnout in relation to experienced and observed violence through gender differences and varying job tasks in Switzerland. The small sample size due to few actual instances of violence make it a difficult study to generalize.

Johnson Listwan, S., Daigle, L. E., Hartman, J. L., & Guastaferro, W. P. (2014). Poly-victimization risk in prison: The influence of individual and institutional factors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(13), 2458-2481.

Examines which characteristics of prison predict who is most likely to experience victimization. The exposure to multiple measures of victimization were found to impact perceptions of the prison environment.

Lahm, K. F. (2009). Inmate assaults on prison staff a multilevel examination of an overlooked form of prison violence. The Prison Journal, 89(2), 131-150.

Uses self-report data instead of the traditional method of agency records to assess predictors of assaults on staff. Discusses possible predictors and policy implications.

Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., Griffin, M. L., & Kelley, T. (2015). The correctional staff burnout literature. Criminal Justice Studies, 28(4), 397-443.

A systematic review of the known research on correctional staff burnout. Reviewed 53 studies between 1981 and 2014.

Lambert, E. G., Minor, K. I., Gordan, J., Wells, J. B., & Hogan, N. L. (2018). Exploring the correlates of perceived job dangerousness among correctional staff at a maximum security prison. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29(3), 215-239.

Assessed correctional staff perception of danger in their employment. Included uniformed and non-uniformed staff. Noted position was related to perceptions of danger on the job.

Lee, M., Taylor, E., & Willis, M. (2018). Being held to account: Detainees’ perceptions of police body-worn cameras. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 0(0), 1-19.

Examined the use of BWCs through the perspective of police detainees in Australia. Through the use of quantitative and qualitative measures detainees’ perspectives revealed six categories that were thought to be enhanced through the use of BWCs.

Lum, C., Stoltz, M., Koper, C. S., & Scherer, J. A. (2019). Research on body-worn cameras: What we know, what we need to know. Criminology & Public Policy, 18(1), 93-118.

Provides the most recent summary of the research that is known to date in policing on BWCs. Evaluates the findings and methods used of 70 studies. Highlights what is still not known about BWCs.

Martin, S. J. (2006). Staff use of force in U.S. confinement settings: Lawful control tactics versus corporal punishment. Social Justice, 33(4), 182-190.

Provides a historical and legal background for use of force in corrections. Outlines how the line is sometimes blurred by staff from legitimate force to the illegal use of corporal punishment, particularly as it pertains to the use of non-lethal weapons.

NICIC. (2019). PREA/Offender sexual abuse. Retrieved April 13, 2019, from

National Institute of Corrections PREA information center. Provides descriptions and resources relating to PREA.

Rantala, R. R. (2018). Sexual victimization reported by adult correctional authorities, 2012-15. U.S. Department of Justice, 1-20.

Report compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice analyzing figures from the Survey of Sexual Victimization. Provides a snapshot of data for jails and prisons in regard to prevalence and type of sexual abuse.

Rogers, D. (2017). Keeping safe. Corrections Forum, 26(6), 20-24.

Practitioner focused article on the current state of BWCs in correctional settings. Provides brief overview of the benefits of their use, other protective gear, as well as training.

Rogers, D. (2018). Eye on Safety. Corrections Forum, 27(1), 36-49.

Practitioner focused article that discusses the initial departments to use BWCs in corrections. Discusses policy related issues.

Ross, J. I. (2013). Deconstructing correctional officer deviance: Toward typologies of actions and controls. Criminal Justice Review, 38(1), 110-126.

Conducts a review of the known research that exists on correctional officer deviance. Provides a clear overview of 15 most common types of deviance and proposed solutions.

Schneider, C. J. (2018). Body worn cameras and police image work: News media coverage of the Rialto Police Department’s body worn camera experiment. Crime Media Culture, 14(3), 449-466.

Reviews news media coverage over a four-year period for the Rialto PD BWC experiment. Examines core topics of police legitimacy, accountability and privacy concerns, and overall changing roles media plays in police departments.

Shjarback, J. A., Pyrooz, D. C., Wolfe, S. E., & Decker, S. H. (2017). De-policing and crime in the wake of Ferguson: Racialized changes in the quantity and quality of policing among Missouri police departments. Journal of Criminal Justice, 50, 42-52.

Explores whether police refrain from engaging police work post-Ferguson. Found that in their Missouri sample a Ferguson effect was observed in relation to traffic stops. Provides contextualization of the Ferguson effect.

Struckman-Johnson, D., Struckman-Johnson, C., Kruse, J. D., Gross, P. M., & Sumners, B. J. (2013). A pre-PREA survey of inmate and correctional staff opinion on how to prevent prison sexual assault. The Prison Journal, 93(4), 429-452.

Provides a broad understanding of staff and inmate suggestions as to how to reduce instances of prison sexual assault. Data is from the late 1990s, which pre-dates PREA and can only be generalized to the Midwest; however, provides key insights into general areas for concerns and improvement that still exist today.

Trammell, R., & Rundle, M. (2015). The inmate as the nonperson: Examining staff conflict from the inmate’s perspective. The Prison Journal, 95(4), 472-492.

A qualitative study that examined inmate violence within the context of staff conflicts. Found that inmates observe staff conflicts with one another and may then either learn that behavior is acceptable or that staff are failing to supervise them as a result of these conflicts.

Wallace, D., White, M. D., Gaub, J. E., & Todak, N. (2018). Body-worn cameras as a potential source of depolicing: Testing for camera-induced passivity. Criminology, 56(3), 481-509.

A randomized-controlled trial of Spokane PD to assess if the Ferguson-effect has been seen through the use of BWCs. Study found that officers did not exhibit any depolicing effects by wearing the BWCs.

Wood, J. D., & Groff, E. R. (2019). Reimagining guardians and guardianship with the advent of body worn cameras. Criminal Justice Review, 44(1), 60-75.

A pilot study of BWCs in one district of Philadelphia, PA. Researchers utilized focus groups with officers as well as a survey to obtain their perceptions about BWCs, their own actions and beliefs as well as the actions and beliefs of citizens. All results are through the perspective of the police officers.

Wood, S. R., & Buttaro, Jr., A. (2013). Co-occurring severe mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders as predictors of state prison inmate assaults. Crime & Delinquency, 59(4), 510-535.

Examines inmates with dual disorders and their rates of assaultive behavior as well as rates of being assaulted. Highlights the increased risk for those with a SMI.

Van Rompay, T. J. L., Vonk, D. J., & Fransen, M. L. (2009). The eye of the camera effects of security cameras on prosocial behavior. Environment and Behavior, 41(1), 60-74.

Study using a sample of undergraduate students at a university in The Netherlands looked at whether the presence of a camera increased one’s likelihood of providing helpful behavior. This study falls outside the realm of the criminal justice system and offers insights into generalized behavior in the presence of a camera.


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