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Privacy or Safety? That is the Question Corrections Officers Must Answer When Considering Personal Alarms

NCJ Number
Corrections Forum Volume: 12 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2003 Pages: 46-48,70
Donna Rogers
Date Published
July 2003
4 pages
This article describes different types of personal alarms available for use in correctional facilities.
The use of personal alarms for those who work close to inmates in correctional facilities is a controversial topic. Some claim that it is dehumanizing to be tracked at all times; however, the fact remains that correctional officers, attorneys, and medical staff need to feel confident in their personal safety. Personal alarms provide the ability to quickly summon help. The article describes how personal alarm systems work and then presents an overview of the various types of alarm systems available for correctional use. Systems that use radio frequency transmissions, sound waves, and wireless systems are reviewed. The article describes how specific systems are installed, what the requirements are, and how they work. Examples are provided of actual cases in which the alarms helped save a life. Simply installing an alarm system works as a deterrent to help stop unprovoked attacks. Correctional facilities will have to grapple with privacy issues versus personal safety issues.