Biometric smart cards for prisoners in India

January 25, 2013 - 

The Ministry of Home Affairs prisons department in India is set to introduce a smart card for all prisoners, which will include prisoner biometrics.

Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation will develop the smart cards, called e-prisons cards, and each one will contain the name of the prisoner, his father’s name, permanent residential address, case details, fingerprints, photographs and identity proof.

According to the Times of India, the Beur Central Model Jail will be the first prison to use the smart card, for which the government has allotted Rs23 lakh (US $42,762) to fund the project.

Besides keeping track of prisoners in jail, these new smart cards will be used to allow inmates to make cashless payments in prison cafeterias.

“It would be a cashless transaction,” Anand Kishore, IG (prisons and correctional services) said. “Each inmate would get food of his choice from the canteen on subsidized rates and the bill amount would be included against the smart card user. The inmates would have to recharge the card through jail officials and the canteen operator would get their payments from the jail officials only.”

Inmates can charge their cards with daily wages — which come from the home prison department — or family members can fill their cards with money for them.

Additionally, this smart card will serve as a health card for inmates, on which the details of regular health checkups and treatments can be stored.

As reported previously in, the Coimbatore Central Prison in India has implemented a biometric system to track visitors in an attempt to crack down on the transfer of contraband items and to enforce visitation rules.

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Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj