Operational Efficiencies In Jail-Justice Complex
Perry, Ga.’s Houston County Judicial Complex includes the county’s detention facility and courthouse on one campus. Operated by the Houston County Sheriff’s Department, the complex has state-of-the-art security technology and a pleasing design.
By putting the detention center and courthouse on the same land, the county saves thousands of dollars annually in inmate escort time, fleet upkeep and fuel expenses. Employing a tunnel linking the jail to the courthouse also means safer prisoner movements, which reduces the chance of inmate escape and lessens the likelihood of harm to judicial employees or detention staff.
A Houston County control room officer handles the master controls of the detention center on a pair of touchscreens, and the center combines indirect and direct supervision pods: Four maximum security pods use the indirect method of supervision while the center’s direct supervision pods allow a roving officer to oversee as many as four direct supervision day rooms.
The sheriff’s department is talking with Cumming, Ga., biometrics provider AWT to obtain one or more booking release stations with facial recognition readers for its primary Perry detention center. The ability to search by the inmate’s facial features at booking and again before release will ensure that prisoners will not be accidentally released by employing fake identities or posting bail before officers discover who they actually are.
The Houston County Detention Center is also thinking about getting a digital video recorder system from AWT; such a system can perform off-camera “hand-offs,” a way of several cameras following a prisoner as he moves from one area to another throughout the facility.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Law Enforcement Technology (05/05) Vol. 32, No. 5, P. 94; Havens, Michael .