About 50 correctional officers at a Massachusetts prison are participating in a pilot program to evaluate the use of body cams in improving safety and transparency in state Department of Correction facilities, officials announced Monday.
The program is taking place at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, a maximum security facility and the reception and diagnostic center for all newly incarcerated men, the department said in a statement.
Three different products are being evaluated during the program that started last month. The guards are wearing the cameras as they perform their normal duties and they augment the facility's network of stationary cameras.
"The use of this advanced technology in correctional settings has been shown to improve safety, provide valuable documentation for evidentiary purposes, resolve officer-involved incidents, and offer a useful training tool for the department and its officers," prisons Commissioner Carol Mici said in a statement.
The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, which oversees the Department of Correction, began exploring the use of body cams in 2021.
The pilot's first phase will concentrate on technology needs, while the second phase will focus on operational implementation.