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Global Directory

Correctional Facilities are Becoming "Smarter"
Insights from the American Correctional Association (ACA) Conference 2017

Phillip Lowery, Director of State Government, North America

Correctional facilities operate similarly to small cities. Within the community, there are dining commons, sleeping chambers, recreational areas and healthcare buildings. The type of security each provides is the differentiating factor. These infrastructures are secured to keep people out, while correction facilities are secured to keep people in. Although, the way their security systems are optimized and controlled should work the same to be “smart” and successful.

If you were to ask what security measures are taken at an office building, most would respond with cameras, access control and communications. The same three C’s are particularly important to security at correctional facilities, but it is when these security systems connect to heating and cooling equipment, lighting and plumbing that a “smarter” and more sustainable environment is created. The integration of multiple building systems grants correctional facilities with the enhancements needed to be considered a “smart” facility.

Emerging technologies such as the ability to identify where illegal cell phones are being used and when a drone flies within air space also play a key role at smart correctional facilities. These improvements help prevent criminal activities directed from within the facility. Additionally, the implementation of vocational programs for inmates to participate in to help reduce recidivism and avoid the rising cost in housing is another step smart facilities are taking to increase efficiencies.

men at trade show promoting public safety

ACA is an influential conference that I enjoy attending each year. Attendance this year was especially critical for Johnson Controls as the company has a new breadth of products, services and technologies available because of the company’s merger with Tyco. During the conference, myself and other Johnson Controls executives spoke with attendees about the impact the company now has in the corrections space given the security profiles available.

Learn more about impact we can make by talking to an expert.