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How Video Analytics Can Improve Safety in Correctional Facilities


Correctional facility video surveillance systems are nothing new. 

However, the technology has seen an amazing level of innovation throughout the last couple of decades – with much more on the horizon.

Video surveillance these days does much more than just monitor; it collects data, analyzes it in real-time, and provides actionable insights to make a facility operate smarter.

Prisons are responsible for guarding dangerous citizens and maintaining order within their walls. To achieve this, these facilities are obligated to have the very best correctional video surveillance systems available.

But video analytics are not apples to apples – especially in high-stakes environments like prisons.

In this article, we want to explain how today’s video analytics systems can help correctional facilities become safer, more secure, and more efficient. Let’s get moving.  

What is the Role of Video Analytics in Correctional Facilities?

Humans have been incarcerated in prison facilities for thousands of years. The role of video surveillance and security technology within correctional facilities is a relatively new concept – and one that’s constantly evolving.

Video surveillance in correctional facilities dates back to the 1970s – but became widely adopted throughout the late 1990s and 2000s as surveillance cameras, image quality, and data storage solutions became more accessible. Throughout the 21st century, innovations like motion detection and remote monitoring revolutionized correctional facility video surveillance systems.

These days, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics gave security cameras the ability to identify unusual patterns, detect potential threats, and even recognize faces. These systems reduce the need for constant human monitoring and enhance correctional facilities’ overall efficiency and safety.

These advancements are instrumental in real-time threat detection and post-incident investigations.

How Correctional Facility Video Surveillance Systems Add Value

We won’t tell you that the cost of implementing correctional video surveillance systems is cheap.

However, it’s important to look at the sizable upfront cost as a long-term investment in the safety and security of the facility. The right system will add value for years to come in many different ways, including (but not limited to):

Proactive Threat Detection

Correctional facility video surveillance systems –  integrated with advanced video analytics – help detect risk factors in the infancy stages. The system will automatically pinpoint suspicious behavior and anomalies among the inmates.

From here, the system can alert security personnel in real-time about potential threats, allowing for swift intervention before incidents have a chance to escalate. This predictive technology does wonders to reduce the reliance on monitoring by humans to improve overall security efficacy.

Incident Investigation and Analysis

The ability to carry out more precise investigations after an incident is one of the most pivotal benefits of video analytics within prisons. These systems provide 24/7 video data with timestamps of the events.

In the aftermath of an incident, authorities can quickly retrieve clips with advanced search features and automated tagging. This evidence is instrumental in piecing information together, recreating the sequence of events, identifying involved parties, and understanding the root cause.

The result is more accurate reporting and informed decision-making for future preventive measures. In the end, this information from security cameras is crucial in how correctional facilities refine their protocols.

Overcrowding and Movement Monitoring

Overcrowding is a serious problem in prisons across the world. More people in a facility equates to more criminal activity and incidents. Correctional facility video surveillance systems assist in addressing issues caused by overcrowding and monitoring inmate movement in common areas, and transit routes.

Video analytics within a security system can automatically count the number of individuals in a certain area, alerting correctional officers if occupancy thresholds are exceeded.

Inmate flows are tracked and analyzed to facilitate smooth transitions during movement periods. More importantly, they find patterns to identify potential bottlenecks, thereby maintaining order and safety throughout the entire facility.

Facility Maintenance

Video analytics are not just helpful for security – they can assist in the facility’s maintenance by providing continuous monitoring of the infrastructure.

The video management system can detect areas of wear and tear, which can involve potential security vulnerabilities like breaches in perimeter walls, malfunctioning doors and gates, etc. 

By identifying these issues early on, the facility can schedule timely repairs, ensuring a safe environment and minimizing the security risks associated with deteriorating infrastructure.

Staff Training and Performance

Correctional facility video surveillance systems provide invaluable insights for staff training and performance assessment.

By reviewing footage of daily operations and incidents, trainers and supervisors can pinpoint which needs are most prominent to the facility. This real-world footage serves as a basis for scenario-based training, allowing staff to learn from real events.

Additionally, regular analysis of surveillance system data helps in assessing staff responsiveness, adherence to protocols, and operational efficiency. These insights provide opportunities for continuous development to ensure security standards are met.

What Does the Future of Correctional Facility Video Analytics Look Like?

 The future of correctional facility video analytics is projected to become increasingly sophisticated with the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will lead to smarter predictive insights, detection of abnormal behaviors, and integrations with other smart technologies.

As video analytics evolve, they’ll offer better threat analysis, automate routine surveillance tasks, and provide more personalized staff training to create more secure correctional environments.

Where to Start?

Whether you’re investing in correctional facility video surveillance systems for the first time, upgrading your current systems, or performing routine maintenance, working with an experienced professional is essential to make sure everything works seamlessly.

No two prison systems are the same – each has unique security challenges. Setting up/fine-tuning a video analytics system requires a detailed examination of the area. This determines how the system will be implemented and how the staff will be trained.

At 2 Krew Security & Surveillance, our expertise in video cameras and analytics spreads to correctional facilities – and all commercial security systems in Pittsburgh and the Tri-State Area. If you’re looking to implement a new video analytics system, update your current one, or perform maintenance, get in touch with our team today. 




2 Krew Security and Surveillance

Providing Customize Security solutions in the Greater Pittsburgh region for over 15 years.


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Brian Kozlosky


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