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Biometric tracking for parolees and prisoners grows, Supercom and Tyler Tech win contracts

Prison deployments expanded in Pakistan, unveiled in New Zealand and India
Biometric tracking for parolees and prisoners grows, Supercom and Tyler Tech win contracts

Supercom has won a contract to deploy its biometric offender tracking PureTrack GPS platform for an agency in Wisconsin following a successful live offender pilot.

The PureSecurity Electronic Monitoring (EM) suite, which the company says utilizes secure communication, advanced security, anti-tamper mechanisms, fingerprint biometrics, voice communication and unique touch screens, was chosen after evaluation in real-world situations.

Supercom Americas President Ordan Trabelsi says the company’s decision to embrace its advanced GPS offender monitoring platform has introduced new capabilities to the marketplace, which are quickly being recognized by clients.

“Our tracking products are extremely flexible in adjusting to the diverse needs of our customer around the globe.  First and foremost we focus on public safety by implementing layers of complementary technology such as GPS, cell tower location, Wi-Fi location and communication, RF tethering, carrier agnostic voice/sms/data connectivity, biometrics and traditional landline communication. The PureTrack  flexibility and robustness allow us to pursue and win across the full spectrum of the offender monitoring market,” comments Trabelsi.

Tyler Tech’s voice recognition selected by Nevada agency

The Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation Department (NPP) will deploy a system with voice biometrics from Tyler Technologies for parolee and probation check-ins, replacing its legacy Offender Information Tracking System (OTIS), the company has announced.

Tyler Supervision provides voice biometric telephone check-ins with the company’s automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, which can help streamline agency management, among several benefits mentioned in the press release. Tyler software is already in use by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and several courts, which can therefore share data with the new system to enable efficiencies.

Prisoner monitoring deployments involving biometrics are also going forward in several countries.

Pakistan province implements biometric checks for prisoners

Sindh High Court has ordered police and prison authorities in the Pakistani province to ensure the identity of prisoners at all correctional facilities are verified biometrically, Dawn reports.

The decision comes after all 22 detention facilities in the province were reported to have installed a new biometric verification system, in response to allegations that convicts had conspired with prison authorities to replace themselves with namesakes paid for serving their time. The biometric system had been deployed to several prisons and approved by the court as of October.

Sindh police have also been asked by the two-judge bench to provide the digitized national identity card or the criminal records office (CRO) entry of prisoners when transferring them to prison authorities, according to the report. The CRO has developed a system for verifying prisoners’ identities through their fingerprint biometrics through integration with Nadra.

The judges noted that the Home Department has already requested prison officials make the change.

New Zealand Corrections using fingerprints for visitors

The use of biometrics by the New Zealand Department of Corrections has reached all facilities with a single system for prisoners, and also includes systems for visitors at a pair of facilities, Radio New Zealand.

The department has spent at least NZ$800,000 (roughly US$565,000) on biometrics since 2016, though it also says spending on the technology has not been closely tracked. Biolink Solutions won a five year contract, which expires next July, for $779,000 ($550,000).

Visitors to Auckland Prison at Paremoremo and Auckland South Corrections Facility are screened with fingerprint biometrics, and a spokesperson of New Zealand Corrections told RNZ that facial recognition is not used anywhere in the system, though it does reportedly store photos. Fingerprint identification for visitors is not compulsory, and people can choose a different method of identity verification.

The Auckland Prison visitor system is supplied by Honeywell, and does not connect with any other network, according to the report. A 2018 privacy impact assessment spotted by RNZ found the system to be “a low privacy risk.”

The privately-run Auckland South prison has a biometrics contract with Serco and SAAB.

Indian jails launching biometric prisoner management app

Tura district jail in India has launched the ‘Eprison’ web app to store the biometric data of prisoners and share them with other correctional facilities, the judiciary and police, according to The Shillong Times. Tura is the fourth facility to launch the app, the report states.

The app also includes prisoners’ medical history and information on court appearances, and other details. An official said the system is intended to help reduce government workloads, fight fraud, and hasten information processing.

Functional modules of the Eprison app include prisoner and visitor management systems and police information.

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