Fingerprints being piloted for prisoner medication access and drug tests in UK

Fingerprints being piloted for prisoner medication access and drug tests in UK

A pair of programs in the UK are introducing biometric fingerprinting technology, in one case to distribute drugs and in another case to test for narcotics.

Harrow County’s Children and Family Care service has completed a trial of new fingerprint drug test technology from Intelligent Fingerprinting, Open Access Government reports. The test is performed with a portable device which analyzes traces of sweat to detect a range of drugs from marijuana to heroin within ten minutes, rather than requiring submission of a urine or saliva sample.

Children and Families Portfolio Holder Councillor Christine Robson says the test is “better in every way than conventional drug testing,” with lower costs and rapid results.

“This technology works. It has helped us improve the success rate of people overcoming addiction while safely caring for their children,” says Head of Children’s Access at Harrow Council Parmjit Chahal. “It works because it is an early intervention because it’s non-invasive and because it helps us build trust – parents who have engaged with it give us positive feedback about it.”

“The fingerprint-based test can be conducted on-site at Harrow Council’s offices, without the need for specialist medical staff or collection areas,” comments Intelligent Fingerprinting Business Development Director Dr. Paul Yates. “We are delighted with the success of the programme and are now looking for ways to share our findings with other Councils.”

The Justice Ministry and National Health Service (NHS), meanwhile, are launching new plans for targeted treatment to boost rehabilitation to new sites in London and Greater Manchester. Pilots have so far resulted in a 250 percent increase in referrals for mental health treatment within 18 months, and a reduction in failures by offenders to comply with orders to only eight percent.

The new program includes the use of an automatic drug dispensing unit secured with fingerprint technology to deliver medication to prisoners at HMP Isle of Wight, which is being piloted until October. The unit is intended to improve prisoner access to medicines and reduce security challenges associated with multiple prisoners receiving prescriptions at the same time, and will be considered for a wider national rollout, if the pilot is successful.

The trial also includes virtual GP clinics and improved information sharing between custody and community settings, according to the government’s announcement.

Last year Applied Recognition’s Ver-ID face recognition capabilities were added to AceAge’s medication delivery devices to provide biometric access control.

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