Ari, I had not heard of it before but I bought one of the articles on CCTV in Jail Housings. It was informative, well research though, as typical with academic papers, dense. It seems to be an excerpt or at least a portion of a publicly available Jail Sexual Assault Project report from the Urban Institute.
Here are some key excerpts from the article:
"Findings indicate that while inmate perceptions of safety changed after implementing cameras, analyses of reported incidents did not yield any effect. These mixed results may be because of a combination of deterrence and detection effects or to cameras not being paired with more effective monitoring."
"The [older] study compared self-reported rates of victimization and offending between inmates living in units with CCTV in the shower areas and inmates living in units without cameras. It found that inmates in camera units reported lower rates of both victimization and offending"
"The following challenges were encountered: (i) two of the cameras were initially placed in easy reaching distance, resulting in one incident of minor inmate vandalism of cameras before they were moved to a higher location, (ii) two cameras experienced intermittent functioning and (iii) cameras lacked visual clarity, which sometimes made it difficult to identify individuals because of blurriness."
"Less than half (42 per cent) [of prisoners] knew the cameras recorded, with 6 per cent believing the cameras did not record and a little over half (52 per cent) reporting they did not know whether or not the cameras recorded."
"Staff at the management and leadership levels were more likely to see value in the cameras, whereas line-level staff expressed concerns about their purpose in monitoring officer activity."
"Although the jail is credited with implementing mandatory video review for every incident and monthly random reviews of video footage, there was little direct monitoring of cameras and random reviews only covered a relatively small proportion of time."
"The results do not bolster confidence in the ability of cameras to deter violence and other types of risky behaviors in correctional settings. However, cameras may still provide important benefits in terms of better evidence for incident investigations and making inmates feel safer."