Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $385,660)
The Middlesex County Office of Adult Corrections and Youth Services (MCDOC), located in Middlesex County, New Jersey, is requesting funding through the US DOJ OJP BJA FY2021 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to purchase 220 body worn cameras (BWC) and associated equipment and storage in order to implement a pilot BWC program within the correctional facilities in Middlesex County. The total cost of this project is $771,320.00. MCDOC is seeking a grant in the amount of $385,660.00 and will provide the remaining $385,660.00 as its 50% match. The MCDOC currently does not have these cameras, but has conducted a trial period with a supplier, and believes that these cameras are essential to the well-being of both corrections officers and inmates.
Middlesex County has a long history of national leadership in jail operations. In 1917, when the jail opened in New Brunswick, Middlesex pioneered several architectural innovations. Since opening in 1984, the Adult Correction Center has been recognized as a leader in Direct Supervision Jail Management. Through the years, jail leaders from all around the country, and even overseas, have visited Middlesex County. MCDOC currently operates three facilities. Daily, there are approximately 500 inmates in Middlesex County facilities. Middlesex County has one of the highest percentages of inmates at all facilities (youth, adult, and women) compared to all 21 counties of New Jersey.
With funding from this program, the MCDOC will implement a department-wide new BWC program, falling in line with fellow departments including the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, which are currently also implementing full BWC programs. Additionally, every local law-enforcement agency within the State of New Jersey is required to have BWCs according to a new law passed in early 2021. Although the law has just recently been amended to include Corrections Offices, there are few correctional facilities that have already implemented this technology. The MCDOC is trying to get ahead of this, implementing a full department program with the requested funding, continuing to act as an example to other correctional facilities throughout the State and Country.