1st June 2011 / Tom Quarry
Kiosk technology in prisons is nothing new. Payment and information kiosks have been helping serve the government’s department of law and prison sector by offering the inmates the chance to pay for their own bail as well as providing info on custodial job vacancies, health and wellbeing and law. Touch screens further aid in keeping the criminals connected with the outside world so when they leave, it isn’t a massive culture shock. The heavy-duty units have toughened glass screen to cope with all the hustle and bustle of every-day life in prison. But as well as offering payment and information services, kiosks can also assist in keeping the convicts in their jail cells. Prisons are categorised into different levels and grades, some of which home low-risk offenders and others house the most dangerous criminals in the country. It is the latter to which can benefit greatly from kiosk technology with regards to actually physically housing the prisoners.
The kiosk brings services to the inmates rather than the staff having to move them from the lockup. It can take anything from two to six guards to move a criminal and as they can be locked up for up to 23 hours a day, tempers can flare and danger can be caused. By delivering the services and privileges to the cell, such as the TV, telephone or virtual visitors, it reduces the risk of hazard to the staff and to the prisoner itself, as well as the hassle of moving. By remaining in the cell with the hardened kiosk, the prisoner still gets its privileges and a virtual visit all via one single access point. And what is more, by staying put it decreases the possibility of fights erupting between the inmates themselves as they are confined to solitude.