La Jail Latest To Use Radio Tags To Track Inmates
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department plans to use radio-connected wristband tags to track inmates for the country’s biggest jail system, employing an upgraded version of the devices tested at the state’s Calipatria State Prison, the first in the United States to electronically track its inmates.
Taking off or breaking the wristbands ignites a computer alarm, informing guards of a possible prison escape.
Los Angeles County will spend $1.5 million to help control around 1,900 inmates and protect guards in a unit of the Pitchess Detention Center in the city of Castaic, starting in early 2006. If the plan does well, it may be broadened to the 6,000 inmates of L.A. County’s Central Jail and then to additional facilities.
The technology could also virtualize prisons so that work release crews can roam within the environs of a mobile electronic fence, says Harinder Singh with the California Department of Corrections.
He also raises the possibility of tracking inmates to and from courthouses and other locations through satellite monitoring. Singh expects technology improvements will hasten the adoption of tracking systems among correctional facilities.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Associated Press (05/16/05); Thompson, Don .