How FirstNet Will Transform Corrections Technology

By Neil A. Miller

The corrections field is the toughest beat in the nation. The public expects wardens and correctional officers – in both local and state facilities – to work efficiently and effectively, while maintaining the highest level of protection to the community and inmates.

Technology and innovation are vital tools that keep wardens, jail administrators and correctional officers safe by sharing information and ensuring an effective and coordinated response.

Reliance on technology for situational awareness purposes has increased in corrections, such as contraband detection, staff alerts for endangered personnel or inmates, or home-monitoring systems for low-risk inmates. Reliable broadband service is at the core of these activities. Broadband failures directly affect the ability of correctional officers to do their jobs.


To address this problem, Congress created FirstNet in 2012 to deploy the nation’s first mobile broadband network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet is taking steps to put the latest technological advances into the hands of all first responders, including correctional officers.

More jails are relying on technology to ensure correctional officers stay safe while efficiently performing their duties. New technologies for management of inmate activities and accountability are emerging daily.

This article was written by Neil A. Miller and appears in dated September 28. 2017.

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Neil Miller serves as Sheriff for Buffalo County, Nebraska. Elected in 1990, he has been in law enforcement for over 40 years. Under his leadership, Buffalo County has made extensive use of wireless law enforcement applications including CAD, AVL, national/state/local queries, car-to-car messaging, premises information, situational awareness and push-to-talk on mobile data computers and smartphones.


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