Sharjah/Abu Dhabi: Inmates in Sharjah jail will wear "smart bracelets" that will identity them, process transfers, take attendance and handle many other tasks digitally.
The Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Centre plans to roll out the bracelets by early 2018, Colonel Ahmad Suhail, director-general of Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishments, told Gulf News.
The system, said to be the first of its kind in the Middle East, will provide a wide range of services related to the inmates without the need for manual requests and transactions.
The establishment is working on final preparations for the implementation.
The smart bracelet comes in unique styles and uses for each inmate. It works by using bar codes to improve the process of transfers, dispensing medicine, and will ensure everyone is present, among other uses.
The bracelet will show the picture of the inmate and his or her assigned number, making identifying inmates seamless.
The system works by linking the bracelet to smart screens installed inside the inmates’ cells. A number of options will appear on the screen, such as making inquiries, lodging a complaint, visiting the clinic, family visit requests, using credit card for purchases and making calls.
The options will appear in Arab and English; the department is considering adding Urdu as well.
The idea of the smart bracelet came from a staff member, Thamer Maki, who submitted the idea to the establishment’s administration. Brigadier Saif Ziri Al Shamisi, Sharjah Police’s commander-in-chief, then approved the project. He said the police chief encouraged the staff to come up with more innovative ideas to improve the work environment.
Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Khalfan Al Gazal, director of the rehabilitation section, told Gulf News the system is connected to the operation room in the establishment and it will be fully secure.
Only convicted inmates will wear the smart bracelet, he said.
He pointed out that the system will save time and effort as well as protect the rights of the inmates as all their activities during the day will be logged.
The system will work round the clock. It will enhance security and safety within the establishment, tracking the location of the inmate inside the establishment and the permitted range of movement and access.
If inmates leave their permitted area, an alarm will be raised for the security guards to take necessary security measures.
The colour of the inmate’s position marker will turn from green to red.
The bracelet will be strapped to the inmate’s wrist to continuously monitor his or her biometrics, food history, medication, and all activities and daily routines inside the facility.
Initially, the jail’s officers manually logged each inmate’s record using paper and pen, and fed the various details — such as that individual’s recreation time and the specifics of any interactions — into the computer, to be stored in the facility’s jail-management system.
The data often passed through several officers; meaning a great deal of time could elapse before it was entered into the system.
The new system will also be a great help to the staff. Being able to determine quickly who is high-risk versus a low security threat can save lives, for instance. A considerable amount of time can be saved by knowing who is supposed to receive special or urgent medical attention.
The bracelets are very strong and nearly impossible to remove by the convicts. They can be worn at all times, even in the shower. If an inmate tries to tamper with the bracelet, it can be easily detected.
“It will help guards and inmates to be more secure and free up time and resources for other needs,” he said.
Tracking, tagging, recording
Also, records can be tagged with special information or warnings related to medical information or high risk status to help staff manage inmates safely and efficiently.
Meanwhile, inmate tracking will include a management console that will display the location of inmates in real time, along with any associated images and data.
The tracking history can be viewed and searched to see who moved where and when. Customised reports can also be created in the system for on-screen viewing or printing. The tracking system is also compatible with biometric scanners.
A similar project is taking shape in the capital Abu Dhabi.
In coordination with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), Abu Dhabi Police is launching an electronic monitoring system for suspects.
The new surveillance system replaces conventional monitoring for short-term imprisonment cases. Under the system, an electronic bracelet will be used, working on GPS satellite technology, to determine the time and location of the suspect.
The system will help authorities monitor the accused round the clock.
The idea came after studying similar systems in a number of foreign and Arab countries.
The monitoring is to be implemented under the instructions of the court and the Public Prosecution, a recent statement by ADJD said.
Counsellor Ali Mohammad Al Beloushi, Attorney-General of Abu Dhabi, said the use of high-end technology is to keep a tab on the suspects and implement court rules properly.
This aims to prevent the possibility of re-committing the crime and help the culprit to feel attached to his family and society, he added.
In order to implement the rule, the Public Prosecution will facilitate the procedures, he said.
Major General Maktoum Al Shareifi, director-general of Abu Dhabi Police, said the move will ensure the safety and security of every member of the society, as well as the family of the accused.
The monitoring system also will provide options for positive correction and rehabilitation.
HOW IT WORKS:
What smart bracelets will do
• Track inmate movement
• Take attendance
• Supply passes
• Offer recreation and meal options
• Track ongoing activity in real-time
• Show trail date, in addition to trail history
• Assist in medication administration