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Monday, 28 October 2013 06:40

PDC Smart Band RFID System To Help Improve Security at Pima County Jail

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PDC Smart Band RFID System To Help Improve Security at Pima County Jail

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SAN FERNANDO, CA -- The Pima County Jail in Tucson, Arizona announced that it will use Smart Band® RFID Wristbands from Precision Dynamics Corporation (PDC) for prisoner identification and officer access as part of a comprehensive security upgrade planned with the addition of 147,000 square-feet of new building space at the facility. Up to 1,600 prisoners will be identified and monitored daily using Smart Bands embedded with RFID smart labels from Texas Instruments (TI). More than 300 prison officers will use the system to gain access to restricted areas in the facility.
Upon entering Pima County Jail, inmates will be fastened with PDC Smart Bands. The inmate's name, identification number and security level will be stored on the RFID smart label inside the band. As they are moved throughout the facility, inmates will present their wristbands to TI-RFid wall plate readers, which will automatically identify each prisoner and capture the date and time the person entered or exited a particular area of the facility. One hundred twenty-four vicinity readers will be implemented at all doorway entrances to the jail as well as at various entry points inside, including the medical unit, visitation and programs areas.
The systems integrator on the project, TrenTech, a division of Norment Security Group of Montgomery, Ala., is installing a host of security systems including RFID, CCTV, audio, duress, locking devices and locking controls. This new security will integrate with the office access control portion of the upgrade.
Officers will carry TI-RFid access control cards, imprinted with a photo and containing security clearance information, to enter restricted areas of the facility such as the parking lots and medical area. Using TI-RFid cards integrated with Security Suite software and a field hardware system provided by Monitor Dynamics Inc., (MDI) of Ranchero Cucamunga, Calif., TrenTech has developed a solution allowing automatic access for prison personnel, verifying their identity and releasing the necessary locks without interrupting the command center staff. To enter a restricted area using the old system, the officer contacted the jail's command center by radio to request entry and was verified via cameras by personnel at the command center.
The MDI system will also be integrated with the county's inmate records database for a seamless flow of information that can be viewed and updated by jail staff and police officers with access privileges. When an inmate presents a valid wristband to an RFID reader, the MDI system will log information and forward it to the county's inmate software for inmate monitoring.
To replace Pima County's paper-based system of prisoner identification and process, the architecture firm on the project, DMJM of Colorado Springs, Colo., evaluated several access control solutions, including magnetic stripe cards, bar codes, biometrics, as well as other RFID solutions. The company recommended a 13.56 MHz RFID solution because its speed of processing, read range, the contactless nature of the technology, and its ability to read without the line-of-sight so the prisoner requires less handling by staff. By implementing an officer access control system using the same technology, DMJM was able to recommend a fully integrated and cohesive system.
TI's 13.56 MHz smart labels provide a unique, factory-programmed ID, which cannot be duplicated, ensuring that no two people are misidentified. Up to 50 Smart Bands per second can be simultaneously identified by an RFID reader.
"Officers must be able to move inmates quickly and effectively throughout the facility," said David Campbell, security engineer, DMJM. "The solution gives officers the ability to move several inmates through the read field at once without handling them. Inmates wave their wrist near the reader and walk through the door."
The new security technologies help facilitate the jail's contemporary approach to building design and the use of a direct supervision mode of inmate management. Corrections staff controls behavior of the jail population through a proactive concept. Unlike more traditional reactive containment utilizing bars, security glass, and other barriers, officers are assigned to work inside each 8-person pod in physical proximity to the inmates.
"This RFID-based access control solution is the first of its kind for inmate identification and monitoring. It fits in well with our innovative approach to inmate monitoring," said Captain John Alese of the Pima County Jail. "We expect it to be very helpful and efficient in logging inmate activities in moving them through the facility more quickly and easily, while also answering a critical need for more accurate and effortless record-keeping."
With nearly 50 years of experience, PDC is the global leader and pacesetter in the development of automatic identification wristband systems and quality healthcare products. The company introduced the first patient bar code ID wristband in 1984 and radio frequency identification (RFID) wristbands in 2000. PDC also provides premium healthcare products for labor & delivery, urology, and other applications. PDC's quality system meets the requirements of the International Standards Organization ISO-9001 certification, representing the finest in product service, design, and manufacturing. For more information, visit
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