Body Camera Pilot Program Begins at Chillicothe Correctional Institution

The Chillicothe Correctional Institution is one of a handful of state prisons taking part in a pilot initiative to evaluate the use and effectiveness of staff body-worn cameras.

Body cameras were deployed on Monday at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, and at the Ohio State Penitentiary.

The Cleveland Adult Parole Authority and the Montgomery Unit of the Dayton Adult Parole Authority will be outfitted with cameras beginning next week.

The first phase of the program will run through July 30th and will include the evaluation of equipment provided by two vendors. The second phase will then evaluate equipment from two other vendors from August 9th to October 1st.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says the program is meant to help not only ensure a safer prison environment, but also to enhance accountability and transparency in its operations.

“At DRC, our number one priority is safety, and we believe that a body-worn camera program could go far to help protect our staff, inmates, parolees, and communities as a whole,” stated DRC Director Annette Chambers-Smith.

If successful, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says the program could expand to all state prison and Adult Parole Authority regions.

The pilot program comes at no cost to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. If fully implemented though, the estimated cost for the first year would be approximately $17-million. The figure is based on input from other jurisdictions where similar systems are already in place.