The prison environment is dangerous for everyone involved, whether they’re inmates, staff, or officers. The threat of sudden, sometimes fatal violence is a part of everyday life. Despite much study, solutions are often elusive, both because of the inherently adversarial relationship between corrections officers (COs) and inmates, and the violent actions that landed many inmates in prison in the first place.
It might seem counterintuitive, but technology may be one way to bring more humanity into correctional facilities. Across the country, video surveillance systems have proven their potential to improve safety in prisons for both inmates and guards.
Video surveillance systems give management another set of eyes to peer into the complicated institutions they oversee. For example, video footage has revealed unsafe and failed prison infrastructure. Footage from a facility in Arizona showed that the locks on many cell doors were broken, in three separate units. The result was chaos. It was dangerous for COs who couldn’t reliably contain inmates. Shoddy attempts to fix the locks resulted in loose parts and missing pieces of metal, which could potentially be used to craft weapons. And, worst of all, both officers and inmates were attacked, resulting in injury and even death. In another case, an inmate’s investigative reporting argued that the installation of 2,000 security cameras in New York’s infamous Attica Prison significantly reduced the incidence of violence between inmates and officers.
Effective video surveillance gives security teams the data they need to make informed decisions about improving safety for the people who live and work in correctional facilities. Today’s cameras capture incredible detail in every frame, track moving “targets,” and can operate even in low-light conditions. They are also increasingly layered with artificial intelligence applications that help security personnel identify objects and flag unusual behaviour in real time. The result is a safer environment for everyone involved.
A data storage solution that is reliable, affordable, and easy to both scale and manage is crucial to getting the most out of a video surveillance deployment. NetApp® E-Series systems offer best-in-class storage solutions for correctional facilities. Read the new use case document here.