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Recent Posts by GeorgeBooth

 

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Sep 12, 2013
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: Tech Talk / Input appreciated RFID Tracking

Again great points.

Here is my commitment first of all. Since I have walked that mile myself, I would never dream of putting out a piece of crap program to simply make a buck and pray it works. I’ve looked at all kinds of pricing models and configurations from other software providers and have come to a single conclusion.

I will most likely sell the program as a SaaS. (Software as a service) The only equipment to install would be the RFID receivers and a central modem linking to the existing facility network. No computers to buy, no data entry. I want the program to integrate with whatever booking/classification system that facility is already using. The SaaS also should have free updates, not a program you have to buy every single year or two or three. I see so many of these bait and switch it makes me sick. Also, I know any accountant would be furious, but since software is (cost-less) once it is written, why not sell the full package and let each facility determine how much or how little it uses. The programming cost has already been incurred at that point, so why offer a complicated piece meal “gizmo”. KISS comes to mind.

As far as bugs and glitches. I know there is always a ghost in the machine, but what makes this system different is its simplicity and the absolute permissions given to the facility and it’s officers. CO can’t put a trace route on an inmate, that would require a higher permission. A Sgt. can’t trace route a CO, that would require a Warden or Sheriff permission level, etc etc. I plan on making the GUI (Graphics, User, Interface) as simple as it can be. Not because COs can’t use it properly, but they don’t have the time to learn yet another program on top of the mountain of work they already have. The day to day CO will generally never see the system anyways. It is meant primarily as a computer to be utilized by central control and supervisory levels. I see it’s greatest use by prison investigation and gang unit personnel.

I think with a cloud based program that you simply log on to, the chances for a user to f’up the system is minimized if not alleviated altogether. The training will involve teaching the right people how to disseminate and correlate the information they are being provided. Imagine a report such as this:

Inmate A is caught with contraband. Inmate A can be tracked through the system, but inmate A is a social butterfly and you don’t have the resources to turn every cell he visited. Instead, you can set the parameters in a report to show every cell inmate A visited for more than 120 seconds or five minutes for that matter. That in itself narrows the search considerably, and frees up valuable CO time and effort.

From a supervisory point of view a report of “exceptions” (proximity alarms and all other violations) can be printed every day and the proper adjustments to staffing and training can be made. Like I said, it’s just another tool, not a replacement. Not everyone can see everything, be everywhere and prevent everything. Keep in mind, software can be written to do anything, the only limit is imagination.

 
Sep 12, 2013
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: Tech Talk / Input appreciated RFID Tracking

Knuckle dragger, thanks so much for the reply. It is definitely opening my eyes as to the proper sales approach.

In that, with all my rambling on it seems as though the system would somehow replace or take a critical function of a CO. That is absolutely not the case. It is not to replace a good old fashioned head count, it is not to take place of a good old fashioned coming to Jesus moment with an inmate. It is 100%, a supplement and just another tool in their inventory.

You mentioned cameras, the system, upon an alert would automatically take the closest camera and focus that proximity. Just one of the features included.

Another key point you made was "COs only play that part on their shift. What this system would do, from a Director/manager point of view is maintain policy and procedure from the top down. Most of all maintain continuity and consistency which are key factors in a correctional facility.

Lastly, I would strongly urge a facility to equip a CO with the RFID for obvious safety reasons and unfortunately those “other” reasons we don’t need to go in to.

Another thing I was thinking of is being able to store commissary and phone privileges on the wristband also which would deter manipulation of the chip. All that information that is already stored is simply a matter of integration programming. If they destroy their wristband, they lose their commissary info until a replacement is made (after their write-up) . Besides if the wristband is cut, just like a house arrest anklet, an immediate alarm would be sounded and dealt with right then and there.

Please keep the comments coming, these are real world objections I need to hear and I really can’t thank you enough for your frank honesty.

 
Sep 12, 2013
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: Tech Talk / Input appreciated RFID Tracking

Campi,

Thanks so much for your opinion, it’s greatly appreciated as I make adjustments to the functionality and purposing.

That being said, I think in a perfect world corrections officers would be fantastic, if they were all intelligent and if they all had 20 years on the job. The simple fact that most can admit is many of the COs are simply passing through and too many are dumb as a bag of hammers. Reading through the posts on the club house here confirms that point as so many of you use this forum as a sounding board for frustrations.

The purpose of the software and tracking is not to replace good old fashioned well seasoned COs, it’s simply another tool in their belt. Of course inmates will find way to gain the system and manipulate their environment. This software isn’t supposed to replace the day to day interaction, it is to supplement their job as an added security, a preventative tool and an evidentiary mechanism.

With prison populations growing it’s a herculean task and an often futile effort to expect every CO to have the same passion as many of the posters on this forum. Having worked in a jail myself, I know in a pod of 80 inmates, I cannot keep track of every single inmate’s movement when it’s open cells and they are all in the day room. It’s simply impossible. Especially when they send a diversion to the desk.
How long does it take to rape/assault an inmate? Minutes/Seconds. If you are being diverted and an inmate walks into another inmates cell and rapes/assaults him, who gets the write-up and party to a lawsuit? You do.

Now imagine you are at your desk and while you are being diverted.. an alarm immediately sounds of a proximity infraction. You have a choice. You can either fill out paperwork and defend your job AFTER an inmate was attacked, or you can yell out lockdown and possibly prevent the assault from ever occurring while sert/rapid response is running down the hall to your pod.

The software can be used to establish patterns as well. If you are investigating a contraband ring, the software could specifically record the movement of a single inmate. Let’s say you find heroin in a shakedown. The inmate doesn’t give up with supplier obviously, but you can backtrack through the system and see any associations the person had and shakedown those specific cells instead of shaking down an entire tier or pod. The software frees up a few officers to toss a few cells instead of a platoon to shake down an entire wing/tier.

How many times in a COs day do they have to address out of bounds inmates? The proximity alarm immediately sounds when an inmate approaches a tier/pod that isn’t his and the officer can stop/frisk the inmate immediately, not after he’s passed his kite or contraband inside the pod.

Last example is one many have faced in their career. A female inmate alleges that you sexually assaulted her, or she claims she is having a relationship with you. We all know the mere speculation or rumor of this can kill/ruin a career. With the proximity monitoring a CO can easily disprove the claim and administrative action can be taken against the inmate to deter future claims. I know as a male officer, this was one of my biggest fears. it’s probably the reason I was such a hard-ass in the female pods.

These are just a few of the many uses for the software I am putting into the functionality. I want the software to have the ability for new rules to be added with relative ease, since every facility is different.

Again, I appreciate every single bit of advice and input anyone can offer. I see people have viewed the post over 20 times, please if you have the time, give me your criticism, advice and opinion. This software is being built for you, your insight is key.

 
Sep 11, 2013
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / Inmate entitlement!?!?

Commander, can you please speak with me off board? I understand you’re retired, maybe I have something you’d be interested in.
We can exchange # via email.

George Booth
George@fortvna.com

 
Sep 11, 2013
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: Tech Talk / Input appreciated RFID Tracking

Ladies and Gentleman,

In a stroke of genius (or a few too many beers), I am beginning designs on an inmate tracking system utilizing my company’s workforce management rules interpretation engine. (In layman’s terms, if/than/so)

The system I am designing will utilize 7 year RFID transmitters imbedded into an inmate bracelet. This chip will give inmate location down to a few inches. The system will fully integrate with the booking/classification software so no secondary data entry is required.

What I am humbly asking for is any ideas some of you would like to see/have regarding functionality of the system. Here are a few of the intended uses:

Proximity is over-layed on an integrated graphical map of the facility. Accurate down to centimeters.
Enforce corrections policy from top down.
Ensure accountability
Reduce the likeliness of proximity “incidents”
Provide evidentiary support to officer/inmate claims
Reduce inmate kites with evidence refuting claims
Provide real-time exceptions (tech lingo for an alarm) for possible proximity and or location infractions. (Imagine 5 inmates within 12 inches of a single inmate).
Reduce litigation with facility/staff/inmates due to 24/7 tracking.
Provide extra layer of support to the PREA.
All but eliminate escapes through proximity alarms to out-of-bounds.
Intelligence gathering capabilities through single target tracking. Gang affiliation, association, etc.
Tracking known contraband distribution routes, providing evidence for prosecution.
Protect officers from claims of assault (especially female to male accusations). (Yes officers would need to wear them also)
Protect juvenile offenders from adults through proximity alarms.
Maintain safe inmate transport through critical areas by sounding alarms if too many inmates are being moved through a critical or sensitive area.

A lot of things are dependent upon the facility as well. Although I’m working on the “indestructible” wristband, we all know inmates can break anything eventually. A facility would need to provide severe penalties for trying to remove or tamper with a wristband. In the future we are looking to design a wristband that contains phone and commissary info also.

I know there are a tremendous number of years of experience on this forum so I can’t possibly tell you how grateful I am for any feed-back you may offer or functionality you would like to see. We are beginning early stage writing at this point and hopefully will have a fully functional product within a year. Our goal is to provide a more controlled environment which results in a safer environment for officers.

Thanks for your time,

George Booth

 
Jul 22, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: Letter of The Law / Lethal injection… cruel and unusual?

Transporter,

Unless we come up with a way to expedite our “cooking process”, that inmate will be a drain on the system for the next 15-30 years. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to society to make use of that inmate and defer the cost?

Inmates are a drain on the tax base, they serve no other purpose than to bleed the system and soak up resources, why not make them earn their keep so to speak? Jail has become to posh in my humble opinion these days, what is the deterent?

TVs, Commissary, College degrees…. hell I can’t afford to go back to college right now, but if I played my cards right, I could get a good attorney, commit a non violent crime, get sent to the right institution and walk out with a degree. I say put them to work. Not answering phone banks or making shampoo, but real honest to god labor in the middle of the desert.

 
Jul 18, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: Letter of The Law / Lethal injection… cruel and unusual?

I have considered this conundrum on countless occassions: My solution is simple and kills two bird with one stone.

Take all the prisoners (with life sentences, 10+ years) in CA, AZ, UT, NM and NV, and train them to install and maintain solar panels.

Have them install those solar panels in the middle of death valley. The solar farm would be a hundred miles by a hundred miles wide. That much solar energy would produce a minimum of half the US energy needs. The prisoners would work from their own “Cities” out in the desert, Minimal security would be required due to the climate of the desert anyhow. Tens of miles could be guarded by one guard using infra-red and seismic devices around the “City” perimiter.

The prison would essentially be a semblance of normality with a store, plenty of off time activities to keep the inmates occupied between shifts. Inmates in the desert City would be afforded some liberties normal inmates would not get, but the payoff for the rest of civilization would be ten fold. Would I commute a death sentence for hard labor in the desert, sure, without a doubt. Is it cruel and unusual punishment? I suppose that would be up to the inmate. A life of work and purpose or the needle, take your pick.

 
Jul 12, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / ACA Conference in Denver

Hello all, I was wondering if anyone would be attending the ACA conference in Denver this year? http://www.corrections.com/events/show/8097

Since my office is in Denver, it’s a great excuse to drag myself from Cleveland out there and meet with some industry folks and pick their brain a bit.

 
Jun 21, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / Starting Career in Corrections

You know what a nice pressed uniform tells me if I’m an inmate? Fresh Meat.
Melo, you have bigger things to worry about. Don’t be nervous, don’t look like you’re nervous, don’t act nervous, don’t tell anyone you are nervous. Inmates are people just like you and I, they want to be treated with respect.
Don’t call them by their first name, don’t ask their charges, don’t ask another officer what their charges are. Your job is to make sure they go from point a to b without incident. If you say you will do something, do it. If you don’t know, don’t make something up, tell them you’ll get back to them. Find out where the coffee machine is, and bring money to contribute to the coffee fund! =)

Chance are you won’t be alone for a good month or so, so listen and ask questions. When an inmate walks up when you are tlaking to another CO, stop talking. Read these forums from front to back, there are hundreds of years of combined experience in here.

 
May 25, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / Starting Career in Corrections

T.rivers, allow me to elaborate.

CO school doesn’t give you the one degree you need the most. That’s a psychology degree. Dealing with hundreds of different attitudes, back-grounds, emotions, social standings and simple inmate hierarchy and existence. Eager new COs want to change the world and most think they have a good bead on what’s going down. I had it put to me ever so delicately by a Sgt. one time: “Mr. Booth I was jumping out of helicopters in SE Asia when you were still pissing your diaper, so you can take what I have to say and learn the hard way or the easy way, regardless it makes no difference to me..”

Inmates have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to find your weakness, and they are pretty damn good at it too. You have 8 hours a day to catch up, control and comprehend what those inmates are up to. Also in that time you have to bury family issues, children issues, sick parent issues, bills, house-work, etc, etc, etc, etc…. and focus on the one thing that keeps you alive and all of your brothers and sisters alive. Watch, listen…. All you have to do it watch and listen, the rest falls into it-self. Most of all, your word is everything, if you don’t know, don’t ever tell an inmate something incorrect to blow them off… they will still be there the next day.

Some days you are the babysitter, some days the referee, or witness, some days the defendant and others the plaintiff. Your day will be a never ending cycle of being the consoler, secretary, legal aid, messenger, enforcer, dictator, errand boy, cool-guy… one thing remains; that inmate still thinks you are the enemy and regardless of your best intentions an inmate will try and compromise you or make it appear he has compromised you. The problem new COs face is called reality. Perhaps since you have this “idea” of prisons and corrections, it could be worse for you, because once you experience the reality of jail and prison life, it may be too much for you.

My suggestion to you is speak with someone who has done this for a long time and listen… no questions, just listen to what they tell you.

 
Mar 14, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / Ptsd and family members

What incredible situations human beings can be forced to endure, witness and survive.
The simple fact you can speak so candidly about your experiences shows me how amazingly strong you all are. I wish there was a magic pill to comfort you or better yet, make you forget all the horriffic things you have witnessed humas do to other humans.
I do want to share with you all one piece of knowledge I have gained over the years and how it has helped me.

Choice. Choice is a powerful thing most of us take for granted. We make choices every day without thinking about them, most of them inconsequential, irrelevent. Other choices are far less easier to grasp and sometimes take that epiphany to reach. The hardest choice I had to learn was I am the master of my domain. I choose how things affect me, I choose what to cherish and what to bury. I choose to be angry and I choose to be compassionate.

You all have a choice to be free from your past and your experiences. We can’t forget our experiences, but we do have the choice to not allow them to direct our lives, to make us angry, to make us depressed. We have the one gift God laid at our feeet for us and most of us never use it wisely, our ability to choose. Each of you have that ability to choose within you, you have already shown it by your sheer strength and ability to endure what you already have. Make the choice to move on, to be happy, to cherish the good things around you. I believe every one of you is my hero and I find satisfaction knowing you will all overcome the demons you have seen because you are masters of your own domain. You can choose.

 
Jan 26, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / Starting Career in Corrections

Mbuba,
The good? Job security. Also the bond you will make with your co-workers is nothing short of the bond you have with brothers and sisters in the military if you have served.

Please don’t get me wrong Mbuba, some people make fantastic careers in corrections. But for the most part, corrections will eat a person alive and can have lasting affects on their personalities. I don’t think it’s fair to candy coat or glamorize the great things you can do in corrections like saving all the lost souls and converting the evil to saints (insert sarcasm)…. the truth of the matter is alot of your training will be; how to avoid getting stabbed, performing a proper inmate investigation, signs of impending aggression, how to CYA because at one point in your career it will come down to an inmate’s word against yours. One might think your word is golden, but I have seen officers dismissed because like I said, inmates have 24/7 to refine their skills and trade. That “trade” is making your life difficult.

Keep in mind the people in your charge are there because they are the worst society has to offer. Day in and day out you deal with those people. Regardless of how strong you may believe your convictions are, you will take home bits and pieces of your job to your wife, kids and friends. Eventually your friends will abandon you and only your co-workers will be left, then when you get together you generally talk about work the entire time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to talk you out of it, I’m simply telling you what’s on the small print on the back of the brochure.

 
Jan 25, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: A Broader View / Do treatment programs reduce recidivism?

Just like all statistics, they are manipulated to prove or disprove the point of any author. I for one find any statistics regarding recividism as inherently flawed, unless the convict is dead and can’t re-offend.

A better question is how we measure success; five years till he/she re-offends, 10 years, 20? I suppose I’m fairly jaded having worked for a small County facility about 15 years ago with a population of around 350. I saw the same names in and out, in and out, in and out. Some folks would re-offend just so they could spend the winter inside with 3 hots and a cot. In my humble opinion, and I stress this is simply an opinion, jails are not a deterrent anymore.

Commissary, law libraries, conjugal visits and things of this nature do nothing more than coddle and reaffirm the victim status of inmates. Jail is no different than many inner city street corners. You have your small cramped apartment (cell), corner meeting place (yard), and the gang you run with while you are working on your hussle. Nothing has changed except the scenery. How many COs have invested time and emotion into an inmate thinking and hoping they could break through to them, only to find a year later that inmate back serving out their sentence? There comes a point in which a person is gone in my opinion. You can’t undo decades of mental and or physical abuse from their upbringing, you can’t undo their life experiences. What you can do is make prison less comfortable so the offender realizes the crime isn’t worth the time.

Please note this opinion is personal and does not reflect that of my company. (Sorry don’t need my own lawyers riding my ass.)

 
Jan 25, 2012
E-tivity-logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

Topic: The Club House / Starting Career in Corrections

“I just went for an interview in Virginia to be a correction officer and after the interview my finger prints were taken for background check and i was told it may take up to 3 or 4 weeks before they will call me. Please can any one tell me why it takes that long and what will be the next step after that?”

Mbuba, one key phrase you need to learn is “24/7”.
24/7 is the time an inmate has to find your weakness, to see what makes you tick, to see how he/she can manipulate you. 3 weeks is the short amount of time the facility has to see if you have the mental strength, knowledge, people skills and moral compass to effectively do your job. Some of these people have nothing to lose and seeing the fresh CO for them is a game, an opportunity, a break from the mundane. You will see the very worst humanity has to offer and see things so violent TV could not possibly portray. You get one chance to deal with that before you get a reputation. Back down, panic and your job will become miserable and the inmates will brand you for life and you’ll quit shortly thereafter.

How will you deal with the first time getting sprayed by an inmate? How will you deal with an inmate that clenches his fists infront of you when you tell him his chit is denied. These inmates have become masters of their enviornment and especially of human nature. They can see through you and then some. I would think of the short three weeks as protection for you, these people (facility) will check every aspect of your background and if they feel you can do the job, then congrats, if not, count your blessings and move on. I will say this, impatient and eager COs are usually the first ones to go.




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