Navy provides input to DOJ's officer duress system guide.Correctional facility staff are attacked--that is a reality. Between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000, there were 17,952 assaults on staff in confinement con·fine·ment
1. The act of restricting or the state of being restricted in movement.
confinement facilities under federal or state authority, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Bureau of Justice Statistics Noun 1. Bureau of Justice Statistics - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
BJS . In addition, between July 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999, inmates committed 9,276 physical or sexual assaults on correctional staff from 848 jurisdictions, BJS Noun 1. BJS - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
Bureau of Justice Statistics reported. When these attacks occur, technology can ensure that staff are able to do more than just yell for help.
When a correctional officer or employee is in trouble, the ability to respond quickly is crucial. Knowing the correct location and nature of the problem increases the likelihood that lives will be saved and decreases the likelihood of any significant damage to the facility. Some recent technological advances in officer duress duress (dy`rĭs, d`–, d systems have helped correctional facilities meet their safety needs.
Duress systems permit alarm signals to be distributed rapidly in the event of impending im·pend
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.
2. threats. Real-time alarm notification permits central control to coordinate an effective response to a given duress situation. But as with any new technology, it is not as easy as picking up any solution off the shelf. The solution has to be the right fit for the facility and personnel.
Through an award from the National Institute of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the Department of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare naval warfare
Military operations conducted on, under, or over the sea and waged against other seagoing vessels or targets on land or in the air. The earliest naval attacks were raids by the armed men of a tribe or town using fishing boats or merchant ships. (SPAWAR SPAWAR Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command (US Navy)
SPAWAR Space Warfare ) Systems Center in Charleston, S.C., has created a selection guide for officer duress systems to assist correctional agencies in identifying, selecting and deploying appropriate duress alarm systems. In order to select an appropriate system for a facility, administrators should understand several key issues. To help get a handle on those issues, SPAWAR produced a simple scheme for classifying systems, defined a simplified duress system model, reviewed basic issues to address during the selection process and developed an overview of relevant (current and emerging) technologies.
Duress System Technology
A duress system typically is composed of a closed network of portable and mounted transmitters and receivers linked to a command center alarming point. When a staff member senses a threat, he or she activates the system by a transmitter A device that generates signals. Contrast with receiver. that forwards a distress alarm to the central alarm console.
These systems currently use ultrasonic ultrasonic /ul·tra·son·ic/ (-son´ik) beyond the upper limit of perception by the human ear; relating to sound waves having a frequency of more than 20,000 Hz.
1. , infrared An invisible band of radiation at the lower end of the visible light spectrum. With wavelengths from 750 nm to 1 mm, infrared starts at the end of the microwave spectrum and ends at the beginning of visible light. and radio frequency waves to link the distributed transmitters and receivers. There are advantages and disadvantages to the implementation of these technologies. Many of the limitations depend on specific characteristics of a particular facility. (1)
In addition, several emerging technologies may have future application in duress systems. These technologies represent ideas or early products that have been developed but, in most cases, have not been integrated into duress alarm systems. They include global positioning systems Global Positioning System: see navigation satellite.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Precise satellite-based navigation and location system originally developed for U.S. military use. , ultra-wide-band technology and biometrics The biological identification of a person. Examples are face, iris and retinal patterns, hand geometry and voice. Increasingly built into laptop computers, fingerprint readers have become popular as a secure method for identification. .
Types of Duress Systems
There are essentially three types of alarm systems: panic buttons, identification alarms and identification/location alarms. A brief description of each follows, and Table 1 compares the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Panic Button. The panic button is the most basic duress alarm. In the simplest application, panic buttons are installed in easily accessed locations such as walls, desks and ingress/egress points. When activated activated
a state of being more than usually active. In biological systems this is usually brought about by chemical or electrical means. Commonly said of pharmaceutical and chemical products. , the button transmits a signal via wiring or radio frequency to a central alarm console. Using visible and/or audible A protected MP3 file format from the Audible.com audio download service. See Audible.com. enunciators, the alarm console identifies the location of the event where the alarm was triggered. These systems are not capable of identifying the individuals involved in a duress situation.
Identification Alarms. These alarms are typically a portable transmitting device worn or carried by staff members. The portable transmitter broadcasts a wireless signal that identifies the officer or staff involved. The nearest sensing unit receives the signal and forwards it to the alarm console.
Identification/Location Alarms. These systems are capable of identifying, locating and tracking the correctional staff member who triggered an alarm. As with the identification alarm systems, an individual initiates the alarm transmitter, which broadcasts a wireless signal to a sophisticated sensing unit. The sensing unit then forwards the signal to the alarm console. Additionally, an extensive wireless infrastructure identifies, localizes and tracks the transmitting device. The systems may produce a positioning symbol on a console panel or map-like display at a central alarm location.
What to Consider
Basic considerations for selecting an officer duress system are:
Cost. Think beyond the purchase price. What will it cost to install and integrate the system? What training, operational and maintenance costs can be expected? Answers to these questions will give an approximate total life-cycle cost of the system.
Scalability/Flexibility. Consider the current situation and determine how "big" a system the facility needs. What will be needed one, five or 10 years from now? Administrators should buy a system that can expand or contract as their needs change.
Size and Weight. The size of both the portable and fixed components should not interfere with staff's daily operations or with other facility systems.
Installation and Integration. Consider the facility's structure and design and other related systems. The duress system will need to be integrated into these (e.g., the electrical system, noise patterns and layout). The effectiveness of new system integration includes more than just the equipment. It also involves the people. For example, what is the learning curve of the new system and what are the training requirements?
Reliability. For a system designed to save an officer's life, reliability is an obvious concern. Make sure that the system's defective units can be easily identified, repaired or replaced. Make sure there is an established maintenance schedule. Another aspect of reliability is testing. Does the system have built-in diagnostics? Can the system be tested without bringing it down? Finally, look at the power supply requirements of each part of the system. Does the system require an uninterruptible power supply See UPS.
(hardware) Uninterruptible Power Supply - (UPS) A battery powered power supply unit that is guaranteed to provide power to a computer in the event of interruptions in the incoming mains electrical power. ? How does it function when batteries are low? How often must batteries be replaced and how much do they cost?
Alarm Activation activation /ac·ti·va·tion/ (ak?ti-va´shun)
1. the act or process of rendering active.
2. the transformation of a proenzyme into an active enzyme by the action of a kinase or another enzyme.
3. , Positive Identification and Location Determination. Find out how the system works from how the alarm is triggered to how staff are located and identified, provided the system is designed to do this.
Location Determination/Staff Tracking. For administrators looking at a system that can both identify and locate the person signaling the alarm, find out how the system accomplishes that. Some systems use an assignment log to determine the most likely location of the alarm, while others dynamically locate and track an individual when an alarm is triggered. For the systems using the latter method, look into the level of accuracy that is required and how the facility's building type might affect that.
Operational Environment. Consider any special environmental factors that may affect the system such as extreme temperatures, humidity humidity, moisture content of the atmosphere, a primary element of climate. Humidity measurements include absolute humidity, the mass of water vapor per unit volume of natural air; relative humidity (usually meant when the term humidity or electromagnetic interference See EMI. .
Coverage. Vendors use prediction programs to identify areas within a facility where a readable read·a·ble
1. Easily read; legible: a readable typeface.
2. Pleasurable or interesting to read: a readable story. signal can be obtained, and then guarantee coverage only within those areas. Before selecting a system, identify all areas where coverage is essential and select a system that covers those areas. Also, find out how "dead spots Dead spots are abnormally fast decays of the fundamental tone on stringed instruments and are caused by a damping of the string's vibrations at a given note, due to energy transfer from the string to the instrument body. " can be identified and corrected once the system is deployed, and what the costs are for these dead spot corrections.
Technology is only one of many solutions to officer safety, but it can play an important role. Selecting an officer duress system that will work effectively is complicated, but it can be done with some forethought fore·thought
1. Deliberation, consideration, or planning beforehand.
2. Preparation or thought for the future. See Synonyms at prudence. and with the help of professionals. Selecting the right system means saving lives and avoiding costly mistakes.
Table 1. Advantages and Disadvantages of System Types System Type Advantages Disadvantages Panic Button * Simple and effective for * May be inaccessible many types of emergencies in a duress situation * Typically lowest cost (e.g., blocked or * Minimal installation across the room) requirements, particularly * Systems lend if integrated during themselves to facility construction nuisance alarms triggered by inmates Identification * Can identify personnel * Cannot localize Alarms involved in the duress alarms within a situation facility * Portability allows individuals to trigger alarms anywhere within a coverage area Identification/ * Can identify and localize * Higher acquisition Location Alarms corrections personnel costs than the other under duress systems * Allow better coordination * Typically the most of response to duress difficult to install situations using officers in close proximity
Authors' Note: The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect an official position of the U.S. government. References to any specific commercial products by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise do not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the U.S. government.
(1) Details on those characteristics are available in the Correctional Officer Duress Systems Selection Guide. The full report can be downloaded from the National Criminal Justice Reference Center Web site at www.ncjrs.org.
Richard Baker Richard Baker is the name of several well-known people, including:
after Joseph Grimaldi, famous 19th-century clown. [Am. Hist.: Espy, 45]
See : Clowns Pomperada are project engineers with the Department of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, S.C.