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Counting with Fingers

NCJ Number
Corrections Today
Date Published
2 pages

This report describes a new biometric counting system useful for corrections personnel who must maintain head counts of inmates.


Until recently, counting inventory in grocery stores was more technologically advanced than counting inmates in corrections facilities, which is arguably a more crucial task for public safety. Taking count of inmates is an important corrections function that has typically been accomplished by a corrections officer actually counting each inmate several times per day, an inefficient and time-consuming task. However, a new biometric counting system developed by BWX Technologies and NLECTC-Southeast has the capability to quickly scan inmate's fingerprints and provide, within seconds, the inmate's mug shot for verification. The scanner weighs only 3.5 pounds and includes the fingerprint scanner, a speaker that beeps when the scan is complete, and a full-color screen to project the mug shot. The technology also has the capacity to include voiceprint recognition, a full keyboard, and a smart card scanner. The device will most likely be stripped down for corrections purposes following pilot testing of its effectiveness in a corrections environment. Contact information is presented to learn more about the biometric counting system.

Date Published: January 1, 2003