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NCJ Number: 199927 Find in a Library
Title: Illinois Technology Improves Security and Reduces Staff in Two Illinois Prisons
Journal: Corrections Today Magazine  Dated:April 2003  Pages:108-109
Author(s): Gary Burdett; Mike Retford
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 2
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses technological advances in two Illinois prisons that have enhanced the safety of the facilities and cut costs.
Abstract: Three main technological advances are discussed: nonlethal perimeter fences, under vehicle surveillance systems, and biometric identification systems. The newly constructed Thomson Correctional Center houses maximum- and minimum-security inmates. This facility has made use of a nonlethal perimeter fence, which delivers a nonlethal electric shock equivalent to that of a stun gun. It renders the recipient of the shock temporarily immobile and it alerts correctional staff of the location of the attempted breach. The use of this type of perimeter fence allows the correctional facility to reduce staff and costs, since human eyes are no longer solely responsible for thwarting prison escapes. Another technology discussed is an under vehicle surveillance system in which a camera records the license plate and underside of every vehicle entering and leaving the correctional facility. Another technological innovation recently installed at Thomson Correctional Center is a biometric identification system. This system uses electronic fingerprints to identify inmates and staff. This system aids in the management of the correctional units and provides a defense against lawsuits. Another technological innovation that will likely be implemented in the future is a biometric facial recognition system that matches more than 200 individual points on the human face with a digitally stored image. This technology could be used to protect sensitive areas such as armories and evidence storage rooms. Use of technology for prison security makes sense because it increases security while decreasing staff time and costs.
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Corrections effectiveness; Corrections trends; Illinois; Maximum security; Security; Security surveillance systems
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