The Arlington County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia is set to launch a one-year pilot program known as the ‘Custody Project’, aimed at testing the use of biometric wearables to monitor the health of inmates. The project, which costs $51,000, is expected to begin around the end of August.
The trial will involve inmates from the county prison’s medical unit, who will wear rugged electronic wristbands designed to monitor their heart rate, pulse, oxygen levels, and movement. The wristbands will trigger color-coded alerts on administrators’ tablet devices when inmates require attention. Green signals indicate everything is fine, yellow signals indicate a need for a check, and red signals signify an emergency.
Sheriff Jose Quiroz explained that the wristbands each inmate will wear are more rugged than an Apple Watch to withstand tampering.
The project aims to streamline the monitoring process and ensure timely response to inmates’ health needs. Currently, staff conduct regular 15-minute rounds to check on inmates, a process that involves a significant amount of walking in the medical unit. The biometric wearables aim to capture crucial health data continuously and in real-time, reducing the need for frequent physical checks.
The initiative is part of a broader effort to improve staff wellness, enhance inmate care, and make the jail operation more progressive.
“They live in the jail,” Sheriff Quiroz explained in an interview with local outlet The Connection. “It is our job to take care of them while they are here.”
Plans for the pilot were first announced in May of this year, with Silicon Valley-based 4Sight Labs named as the vendor providing the biometric wearables and monitoring system.
August 9, 2023 – by the FindBiometrics Editorial Team