TN prisons go hi-tech with CCTV cameras

The  Tamil Nadu government has decided to install high-tech CCTV cameras with recording facilities in all central prisons with immediate effect.

This follows a spurt in illegal activities within prison campuses, including usage of mobile phones by inmates.

The cameras would scan all sensitive locations on the jail campuses.

“Currently, CCTV cameras have been installed only in few prison campuses. They are also inadequate in terms of covering all important locations in a campus.

Therefore, it has been decided that 60 CCTV cameras would be installed in all prisons, including special jail for women and Borstal schools,” a senior official from Prison department told Deccan Herald.
The official added that the cameras would be attached to video management software that would allow storage of video footages in the system.

The activities in the prison will be viewed by the prison authorities through a 40 inch LED display screen.

He said the cameras, with recording facility, would be fixed at the main gates, the admission gates, the interview room, the security blocks and over the towers.
“This new move wil cost the exchequer Rs 2.1 crore,” he said.

“The smuggling and the illegal use of mobile phones by inmates has drastically increased in a decade. Frequent checks by prison guards, mainly in the nine Central Prisons, in the State had on numerous occasions unearthed mobile phones and chargers. Fixing high-tech cameras will help the authorities curb such illegal activities,” he added.

The official said though the government had installed telephone booths, most of the prisoners were not utilising the facility due to lack of privacy.

In order to spare authorities from the strenuous and often risky exercise of producing the prisoners before various courts, government has also decided to install video conferencing facility in 306 courts and 17 prisons across the state.

Besides obviating escapes of prisoners on transit to the courts, this move will also save money for the government.

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