Ohio prison system to pilot body worn cameras for guards

June 4, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio prison system is piloting the use of body worn cameras for guards and parole officers in an effort to both reduce assaults on staff and improve staff accountability, the agency director said.

The state is seeking proposals from four companies for cameras at Chillicothe Correctional Institution in southern Ohio and the supermax Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

The prison system will try out the camera systems for 45 days before making a selection. The annual cost would be about $17 million. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction already deploys about 6,500 cameras in its facilities.

The cameras should stop criminal assaults on staff, said prisons director Annette Chambers-Smith.

“As well as, there is accountability for us,” she told the paper. “Body cameras are a two-way street.”

The state prison system has about 6,300 corrections officers and about 43,000 inmates.