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Improving Safety for Institutional Corrections

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $1,799,528)

The Comprehensive Corrections Training and Technical Assistance Program provides comprehensive and high quality training and technical assistance (TTA) to BJA’s grantees and criminal justice practitioners to improve the delivery of correctional services and increase public safety by improving outcomes for people detained and incarcerated in correctional facilities.

Through this category BJA fund a TTA provider to assist correctional agencies as they seek strategies, train staff, develop operational orders, draft warrants, and establish policy to seize and end the use of contraband cellphones, or take greater advantage of lawfully intercepted information from contraband cellphones. Illegal cellphones are used to run criminal enterprises, facilitate the commission of violent crimes, and thwart law enforcement. Although the use of cellphones by those in custody, detained awaiting trial, or incarcerated are prohibited in jails and prisons nationwide, it continues to compromise institutional security as well as public safety. State and local governments should consider a layered approach to interdiction to combat contraband cell phone use in jails and prisons, to include facility security policies, operational procedures, physical plant considerations, staff training and deployment of technology solutions such as managed access systems.

The objectives of this award are as follows: identify and disseminate best practices including technological solution implementation on comprehensive contraband interdiction systems for state and local correctional facilities, make available competitive sub-awards to correctional facilities to implement technologies to prevent and limit cell phone contraband and provide technical assistance on reviewing policies, procedures and technology implementation, and make information publicly available including via an online toolkit or other agreed upon means.

The Urban Institute will use award funds to implement a project that will identify and develop best practices and guidelines on comprehensive contraband interdiction systems for state and local correctional facilities; make competitive sub-awards to correctional facilities to implement technologies that prevent and limit contraband cell phones; provide technical assistance and support to selected facilities, including the review of policies, procedures, and technology implementation plans; and broadly disseminate information and resources on contraband cell phone interdiction to the field through various channels of communication and engagement.


Date Created: September 30, 2019