Digital identity technology using biometric credentials is perfectly positioned to modernise our approach to corrections, driving better outcomes at multiple points throughout the system.
The applications for biometrics and digital identity in corrections environments are vast and varied, from linking up siloed information sources to making operations more secure and efficient, as well as providing better opportunities for rehabilitation, release and reintegration.
A pathway to modernised biometrics
A number of corrections facilities around Australia have been using some form of biometrics for years. NSW was an early adopter, and has been using the technology in prisons for more than a decade.
As with any burgeoning technology, rapid evolution of the operating environment means the tech needs to adapt to meet ever-changing needs. That’s why all organisations – but particularly those in high-risk environments like corrections – need to ensure their solutions are fit-for-purpose and, whenever necessary, roll out modernisation projects to update their software and hardware.
This is particularly relevant when you consider how many people pass through the doors of corrections facilities every year. Just one centre may have records of more than half a million people on their systems. And while the majority of that data will relate to visitors, the system also needs to manage inmates, corrections officers and other stakeholders.
With the right biometric solution, those facilities can better manage critical tasks, such as access control, asset management and more.
A wealth of use cases
The latest biometrics solutions that can be applied in a corrections setting have been built to the highest levels of security and compliance standards. Across a facility these include:
- Access control
- Visitor measurement
- Inmate movement
- Video calls
- In-cell entertainment and authentication
- Inmate payment systems
In all of these cases, a modern solution allows a digital identity – for any person in the ecosystem – to be used across any operational area within the defined environment. This is in contrast to older biometric technologies that may be siloed, making it difficult for corrections facilities to securely and efficiently manage information.
Additionally, common issues related to visitor management can be solved with biometric credentials. This ensures everyone entering a facility is exactly who they say they are, minimising the risk of individuals ‘swapping out’ with an inmate, or sharing sensitive information with across multiple facilities.
Defining the migration pathway
For those facilities that are still reliant on outdated technology, a modernisation project must be approached cautiously. Partnering with an experienced provider like Daltrey means these high-security facilities can receive a detailed migration pathway that outlines the necessary steps and timings for deployment.
You can’t simply shut down a corrections facility to install new technology, so this shift to the new world must occur with minimal disruption. The transition needs to occur while the core systems are still functioning. That requires total buy-in from staff, sensible timings for switching off systems for installation, and backup solutions to mitigate risks in the event of unforeseen disruption.
Leveraging biometrics in post-release rehabilitation
Beyond the internal implementation, there’s significant value in using biometrics to better support release and reintegration requirements when it comes to parole reporting. Removing the stigma attached to ankle bracelets and the escalation opportunities of reporting in person (where they could be exposed to high-risk individuals), the individual could instead report on a mobile phone using facial recognition or voice recognition – the GPS and biometric technology combining to prove they’ve met the conditions of their parole. This would also reduce the workload on case managers and eliminate the cost of using physical monitors.
Biometrics can facilitate all of this by leveraging digital identity in community-based reporting. It can also provide the level of assurance needed that a person is exactly who they say they are and exactly where they’re supposed to be.
For more information about how biometric authentication and digital identity technology can modernise corrections environments, contact us today.