Prison gets tracking for inmates, officers

The Board of Examiners approved an experimental electronic monitoring system Thursday for Southern Desert Correctional Center that would allow tracking of both staff and inmates in a prison 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Darrel Rexwinkel, of the Department of Corrections, said TRaCE - which stands for Tracking, Reporting and Control - is a wireless system that identifies and locates inmates, correctional officers and others wearing the transmitters both inside and outside buildings within the prison. He said if some incident occurred, it would allow prison officials to go backward in time to trace exactly where everyone implicated was at the time.

He said that combined with cameras throughout the institution could provide clear evidence of who did what in a given situation.

It also has "officer-duress and man-down" provisions that would let officials know when a prison guard was in trouble and mechanisms designed to prevent tampering with the personal protection transmitters worn by everyone including inmates and officers.

The contract provides for $100,000 for transmitters for staff to wear and another $225,000 for inmate transmitters. With computer equipment, maintenance and other costs, the total listed for the project is $1.16 million.

Rexwinkel said it's a pilot program but should more than pay for itself because it enables corrections to reduce its requests for added officers in the prison.


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