4 Reasons visitor management is essential for prisons

bunk beds behind prison bars

Last updated on July 10th, 2024 at 09:47 am

Prisons across the globe are using ID scanning to streamline their security and visitor management. In the United States alone, there are over 2.19 million incarcerated adults, so having the ability to easily track who is coming in and out of the facility as well as verify their identity, is essential in securing the grounds, reducing risks to both inmates and staff, and increasing operational efficiencies.

While one might think that the visitor system at a prison is a simple check in, check out, it is much more in depth than that. Upon arrival, prisoners must submit a list of people that they would like to be able to visit them. Once approved by the prison, the visitors are able to visit the inmate, but with many rules in place. For the sake of this article, we are focusing on ID Scanning for the safety of all those involved. Here are our top 4 reasons why ID scanning and visitor management software is an essential tool for prisons.

1. Identity verification

As mentioned above, the process for visiting a prisoner begins well before the actual in-person visit. Visitors must be pre-approved in order to visit an inmate, but once approved, what happens next? Upon arrival at the prison, after the physical searches, you must also present a government-issued ID to show upon arrival. This is where ID scanning technology comes into the picture. ID Scanning software is a robust piece of technology that serves multiple purposes. Upon arrival at the prison gate, or front desk (depending on where the IDs are checked at the prison you’re visiting), the ID can be scanned to ensure that the person visiting is who they say they are.

Prison security is essential for not only the safety of the staff, but for other inmates. Scanning the ID using the appropriate scanner not only checks for age, since most prisons have age restrictions for visitors unless chaperoned by an adult, but also ID validity. The VeriScan ID Scanning Software works with the appropriate scanner to perform more than 75 algorithmic checks on each ID’s barcode. These algorithmic checks look at size, fields, field order, and field formatting. This helps to ensure that the ID being presented is real, while also ensuring your facility follows regulations.

2. Biometric checks

Face matching

Another unique, but important feature of VeriScan is the ability to employ Biometric checks into your prison security system. Face matching, when paired with the appropriate equipment is a game-changer, especially for maximum security prisons. Our face matching software starts with the scan of a government-issued ID. The user is then prompted through a series of movements to ensure that the face being detected matches the ID. The AI technology also checks for liveness to ensure the visitor isn’t wearing a mask or attempting to deep fake the system.

DIVE

Digital Identity Verification (DIVE) is another tool that can be implemented to increase security and streamline processes at prisons. DIVE is an identity verification process that can be done remotely so visitors can pre check in prior to arriving at the prison. The DIVE process is simple. A link is sent to the person needing to verify their identity, they take a front/back photo of their ID, then are prompted through the face matching and liveness portion. After that, our AI compares the information on the ID against the face match portion to confirm identity. This is all done in under 12 seconds. Then once at the facility, approved visitors could go straight to the physical checks to ensure no contraband enters the facility.

3. Authentication

If your prison is unable to capture biometric data due to privacy laws, the use of ID Authentication is the next best thing. The initial process is the same, with the simple scan of an ID. The process after that varies only slightly, but requires the correct ID scanner to ensure accurate results. In addition to the verification process mentioned above, ID Authentication also uses a series of light checks including UV, IR, and white light. The AI technology then compares and cross references these images to check for all possible security features and inconsistencies between images using known watermark and hologram libraries. This level of ID scanning is the most accurate and catches up to 95% of fake IDs. This added layer of security ensures that both prison inmates and prison staff remain as safe as possible.

4. Visitor management

One of the most important security measures prisons can use are visitor management systems like VeriScan. The software not only scans IDs, as mentioned above, but it also creates unique visitor profiles for each ID that is scanned. The visitor management system has many unique features that could be essential in improving operational efficiencies at prisons.

Groups

Custom groups are a unique visitor management feature that prisons can utilize. These groups can be customized to say whatever your prison needs, be it Banned, Under 18, Contraband, etc.. Once the ID is scanned, the guard or other staff member can place the individual into the desired group, which will be displayed the next time the ID is scanned. This can also be done retroactively if you find that a visitor caused issues during a visit, or smuggled in contraband. Then, the next time their ID is scanned at the prison, user will be able to see groups the individual was placed in.

Waivers

The visitor management portion of VeriScan also has a waiver/agreements section that allows for each user to sign whatever form the prison has uploaded to be signed. This is a beneficial visitor management feature for prisons because most of them require forms of some sort to be submitted before visitation is allowed. These signed forms are saved to unique user profiles that will auto-populate upon the ID being scanned.

Third party checks

Arguably one of the most important features of the visitor management system prisons can use is the addition of third party checks. At an additional cost, this feature allows the scanned ID to be checked against a variety of databases like the DMV, Sex Offender Registry and Watch Lists, as well as being able to run a background check using the ID. This feature could help prisons ensure they are not allowing anyone that could pose a threat to prisoners or staff to enter the facility.

In/Out tracking

Knowing who is on the premises at all times is crucial for prisons, so it makes sense to have a visitor management system that can do it for you. Using in/out tracking, prisons can easily keep track of who and how many people (other than inmates) are on the property at all times. 

In/Out tracking is available for the Windows app only. This visitor management feature for prisons specifically keeps track of what time someone’s ID is scanned in and out. The “In” scan happens when the ID is first scanned into the visitor management system. The “out” tracking can be done one of two ways. First, you can simply scan the ID and it will mark the visitor as out. However, if you don’t have the ID to scan out, you can go back into the history, click on the visitor’s profile and mark them as out. You can also set certain times of day where individuals should automatically be marked out. This visitor management feature combined with our self expiring badge can give a quick visual aid to guards to help keep the prison as secure as possible.

Top ID scanners for prisons

Conclusion

ID Scanning and Visitor Management can be an extremely beneficial service for prisons to use. Not only can it help keep the prison safe through the use of ID Scanning, background checks, and biometric analysis, but it also creates unique visitor profiles for each scanned ID. The visitor management system helps keep important data organized which can streamline the operational efficiencies of the prison. For more information on how VeriScan can help your prison, book a demo with our team!