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Taking a STEP in the Right Direction Fact Sheet

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2013
2 pages

This Fact Sheet discusses the purpose and outlines the features of a security technology enhancement plan (STEP) for correctional agencies.


Although funding corrections security technology is a continuing challenge that determines whether and when a corrections agency can purchase a specific technology, A STEP should always be in place and updated so a corrections agency can act promptly when the opportunity for a technology purchase presents itself. Six features of a STEP are outlined. First, a STEP should accurately reflect institutional needs and the agency's ability to meet its mission requirements. Second, each proposed technology purchase should accurately document current needs and the changes that would result from the implementation of each technology. Third, the STEP must be regularly updated over time with the information required to make a purchase at any time an opportunity may occur. Fourth, the STEP should encompass technologies relevant to all of the mission requirements and priorities of the agency. Fifth, The technologies in each functional area of the organization should address capability requirements, unit cost, and summary of funds needed. Options could suggest different funding levels in relation to a technology's capabilities. Sixth, the plan should reflect changes in short-term and long-term maintenance costs for each technology, whether the technology can be conveniently integrated with an existing program, and whether additional staff services are required.