Although the effectiveness of uniform-mounted cameras has yet to be definitively decided, the LA County Sheriff has asked for them to become standard issue for deputies working in high-risk areas of the jail system.

The cameras, which must be manually activated by deputies, are far from a panacea. Due to the costs of running full-time, cameras are passively recording until activated, when they begin to capture all video footage, including the previous 30 seconds prior to being switched on. But the highly visible units can have an impact.

According to anecdotal evidence from a pilot program, their presence alone has both inspired better behavior and decision-making on both sides of the bars. Occasionally, the cameras have incited some of the most troubled inmates to act provocatively.

The cameras cost roughly $600,000 and should be in jails by early 2013.

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Daily News.