Biometrics has established itself as a powerful security and authentication option for the enterprise — and more recently consumer sector — but Belfast-based Core Systems is using the technology in prisons as part of a rewards and mentor networking program.
As reported by the Belfast Telegraph, Core Systems’ software drives security systems in a growing number of correctional facilities in the in the U.S. and UK. The company operates from its headquarters in Northern Ireland, working primarily with fingerprints and iris recognition.
According to Patricia O’Hagan, who heads the company, Core Systems is in the process of scaling up the production and use of its suite of in-cell products. One of its new devices enables prisoners to contact friends and family, as well as access personal information – albeit in a controlled environment using a communal kiosk or from their personal cell.
Core Systems’ solution, dubbed Direct2inmate, an interactive communication and services product for use in prisons, youth detention centers and immigration authorities.
According to O’Hagan, the company’s UK installations are helping prisoners to connect with educational programs and linking them to mentors who help inmates find homes or jobs upon release. The biometric devices can also be used as part of a reward system that enables inmates to access entertainment or music that they can take to their cell.
As for accessing their personal information, Core Systems’ biometric offerings enable inmates to monitor their funds. Most prisoners aren’t allowed cash during their incarceration, but they can earn rewards and can receive money from their families. The system gives inmates a secure means to make service requests, order items from the in-house shop and report grievances using electronic forms.