In partnership, the European Organisation of Prison and Correctional Services (EuroPris) and the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) will organise in April 2021, the fourth global Technology in Corrections Conference under the title Disrupting Corrections, which will be held virtual due to the current restrictions in travel.

The Programme Committee invites individuals, agencies and organisations interested in presenting papers at this event, to submit proposals for consideration.

Event Date: 28th – 30th April 2021

Location: Virtual event

Closing Date for Submissions: Tuesday, 26th January 2021

Technology Disrupting Corrections

Disruptive technology is an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, public service, or businesses operate. A disruptive technology overtakes and often replaces the existing systems because it has recognizably superior attributes.

Recent examples of disruptive technologies include – Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Cloud, Robotic Process Automation, but also Social Media and online communications systems, e.g. Zoom.

During the Technology in Corrections Conference, we will embrace critical and positive reflections on the use of these technologies. We will also look at the ways that technology impacts on Corrections thereby disrupting corrections, both in the ways we work and how this impacts upon those in our care, and to show the many positive benefits for us all.

Do you want to present your work?

During this conference, we would like to focus on technology disruptors within three major themes relevant to Correctional Services, Prisons, and Probation Services.

Presenters are asked to share new ideas, innovative solutions, recently implemented projects, or pilots where technology plays an important role in corrections. Submissions should address at least two of the sub-themes:

1. Disrupted communications

When Covid-19 became a pandemic, the way we communicate changed seemingly overnight. To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, we needed to alter many of the interactions within our organisations. This mainly involved shifting from physical to virtual where possible.

  •  what kind of technologies can help correctional agencies to support their new communication needs?
  •  what are the different approaches needed relating to the different communication channels?
    • staff – inmates,
    • inmates – relatives,
    • staff internally,
    • communication with external stakeholders
  • how can they be tailored to our specific contexts?
  • how can we bring innovation to manage the change in communication
  • how can we assure the quality of communication?
  • what are the benefits and risks associated with remote working?
  • are those technologies temporary or are they here to stay?
  • how can we measure the success of this transformation?
  • how can we assure the security of communication? We need to ensure the inmates cannot access or bypass our systems while at the same time giving them access in a secure way.

2. Disrupted man-machine relations

How current technology advances and is merging physical, digital, and biological worlds is often referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work, and relate to one another and is pushing us to think differently about how our organisations create value and how it impacts us as human beings.

  • how can technologies such as AI and robotics helps us work more efficiently and how do we anticipate and mitigate any risk of bias?
  • what will be the impact and usage of 5G and other communication technology innovations to support this convergence?
  • what are the benefits, challenges and security issues around the use of the Internet of Things in prisons?
  • what are the ethical concerns when bringing those technologies into our organisations and how do we mitigate them?
  • what technologies could we use to support offender monitoring?
  • what are the possibilities and limits of using e-learning, e-health and telemedicine, virtual court hearings and other e-solutions?
  • how can technology support prison treatment and rehabilitation?
  • how can technology support the assessment & classification processes?
  • how do we measure the success of this transformation?
  • how do we balance security and technology with the needs of staff and inmates?
  • what are the implications regarding the use of data protection for inmates and staff in your region? For example in the EU the Law Enforcement Directive (Directive 680/2016) – GDPR.

3. Disrupted management

“Crisis doesn’t create character; it reveals it” – This is a famous quote from the American actor Denis Leary and is very relevant for Corrections today where leading suddenly gets another meaning: it is about the practical issues related to managing prisons or community corrections out of your home office, how we organise telework for people who undertake operational tasks, and also about finding the ability and taking opportunities to change by correctly implementing technology. Where management is reactive, leadership is pro-active, it’s anticipating the future.

  • what kind of technologies can support new ways of working and remote management?
  • how can you do more with less or limited resources, supported by technology and technological innovations?
  • how can the CIO promote innovation and technology adoption within his/her organisation?
  • how could Cloud or other delivery models be leveraged for corrections?
  • how could we improve inter-agency collaboration using technology?
  • what technology delivery models could help reduce costs and improve investments?
  • how can we create robust business cases for new technology and innovations?

How to make your Submission

To encourage the involvement of conference participants, presentations should ideally have an interactive element to engage the attendees. For example: An interactive demonstration or presentation.

We envisage that presentations will be approximately 30 minutes in duration with 15 minutes for Questions & Answers.

In selecting papers, priority will be given to those clearly related to the conference theme. Preference will be given to presentations:

  • which do not contain commercial elements that directly promote or endorse specific brands, products or services;
  • where commercial elements are to be presented, we expect and we will give priority where public agency partners or clients are included as co-presenters; where commercial elements are shown as a case-study or actual application/implementation of a particular solution.

The working language of the conference is English. Submissions are to be delivered in English, including:

  • The online abstract submission form completed in its entirety. Please keep this concise and to the point;
  • A professional biography/resume for the author and proposed co-presenters intending to participate in the presentation.

All correspondence will be directed to the primary author, this includes requests for further information and conveying of decisions concerning acceptance/rejection of submissions.

When submitting the abstract, please specify the topic and questions you want to address, the solution you want to present and the format of your presentation no later than January 26th, 2021.

Should you have any questions or require any clarification, please do not hesitate to contact the Programme Committee Coordinator, George Jackson (tic2021programmeenquiries@europris.org).

Closing Date for Submissions: Tuesday, 26th January 2021