Staff operates detention security systems, often for a full shift, within confined control rooms and control centers – much riding on their good judgment and alertness – with little attention frequently paid to their effectiveness and comfort. Control center design should start from the operator’s point-of-view and work outward. Human factors such as eye strain, neck strain, posture, and acoustics all need significant attention to reduce fatigue and repetitive stress.
Similarly, equipment spaces and technician working conditions also go wanting in many cases. As detention electronics becomes more server-based, electronics rooms resemble data centers or IT closets, much less than electrical rooms. Co-locating head-end equipment with operating consoles is poor practice and means having technicians obstruct operators while servicing equipment. Technicians need working clearance, strong lighting, and space for carts, tools, and spares.
Detention electronics requires periodic replacement every 15-20 years – as with boilers, roofs, and other building components. If you are faced with the following issues, the time for a major upgrade or total replacement is approaching:
Systems fabricators and integrators since 2000, JSC has fabricated, customized, installed, and maintained PLC-based detention electronic systems for over 50 jails, prisons and juvenile facilities (with total systems value exceeding $20-million).
JSC strives to win client loyalty through quality service – not to compel repeated
business through proprietary products or software. Our systems are customized, but
not custom. By “open,” we mean that our software is commercial-off-the-shelf published
by third party vendors specifically for use by independent developers. Others need
only purchase the same development licenses that we use in order to modify it. Each
interfacing protocol we use has a public specification. Each product or component
in our systems is one that can be obtained through an outside source having no connection
to JSC. The closest we come to a proprietary product is our door boards, which contain
only relays and other parts readily available from electronic suppliers. We seek
long-term relationships, but if we don’t end up being your cup of tea, you aren’t
wed to us. The system and software are yours.
For efficiency and safety, JSC either invented or pioneered use of the Touch Array™, Control Stack™, and Recall Monitor™, together with ergonomic consoles. The Touch Array™ concept provides 2-3 touch-monitors per position, and allows, for example, simultaneous horizontal and vertical control (elevators) without changing screens. The optional Control Stack™ feature allows two or more positions to split duties by area (split mode) or respond on a first-in, first-out basis (shared mode), and /or takeover from one another. It also keeps track of unsecured openings. The Recall Monitor™, invented by a Sheriff’s transition team member, continually views the last four unsecured doors until they become secured. With all secure, it is empty.
JSC is pleased to have installed or retrofitted electronically adjustable ergonomic consoles into seven of our facilities and counting. Together with other aspects of ergonomic design, operators of varying size now effectively work at these stations with no claims for workplace injury.
Our maintenance workstation options further provide a bevy of information about system
status, including graphical animated system diagrams, trouble logs, reports, development
and analysis tools, and hold backup programs and data.
Justice Systems will help you begin planning to retrofit an upgraded system: establishing
a scope, budget, and project duration; developing a report of findings and recommendations
for funding authorities; touring current systems; and other project planning. As
former consulting engineers, we excel at assisting in project formation and planning.
Balancing public access with security limits, while providing free egress for fire exiting, is very challenging throughout an entire courthouse. Getting custody elevators to function securely, while meeting all their life safety and emergency power restrictions, is another challenge. Why do some many courts have two separate security systems – one for the public/staff side and one for custody?
Many court security renovations were hasty or not done in the context of the courthouse’s
architectural significance. When properly done, historic entrances, lobbies, and
features can be restored and preserved with subtle modification for security. Wireless
cameras, duress pushbuttons, and even door hardware can prevent unsightly conduit
when no concealed pathway exists across ornate surfaces.
Delayed egress devices, in combination with card overrides, can often solve difficult exiting problems. Justice Systems works with the door hardware suppliers to coordinate these complex functions. In addition, we frequently find mismatch between the builder’s hardware and security electronic designs, and cooperatively work to identify and resolve these differences.
Similarly, JSC jointly designs security interfaces to the elevator controllers and
helps work with the elevator contractor to implement complex elevator functions.
For example, creation of elevator sallyports requires interlocks to car door and
car floor position indicators from the controller. JSC’s PLC and isolation relays
interact with the elevator controllers to exchange these signals.
High percentages of inmates have mental health problems and the aging of the inmate populations raises the need for medical facilities. Most correctional facilities are short medical and mental health space and often ill-equipped for therapy and treatment. Many of the specialized state and local mental health facilities are unfit for modern psychiatry and in very poor repair. These problems are being pressed in some cases through federal court orders, despite lack of construction funds at this stage of the economic recovery.
Justice Systems is securing medical and mental health facilities at lower capital outlay than the alternative of hardened heavy institutional construction – saving physical attack resistance for the outer perimeter. These specialized facilities require both treatment as secure confinement facilities with various security levels, and softer treatment as care facilities.
To name a few benefits enhancing security through electronics, mobile transmitters can signal the identity and specific location of a nurse or staff member requesting backup response. Cameras, microphones and speakers can communicate status and assess the scene while other personnel respond and are being advised. Pharmacies can be protected and all actions recorded. Going “keyless” can reduce keying costs and allow patients to control their own movement, while controlled sallyports restrict movement between different security zones. The need for unhindered sightlines is reduced.
Justice has both retrofitted these systems into remodeled facilities and help construct
Justice Systems designs, installs and services personal alarm systems of three differing levels:
Within our PLC-based touchscreen systems, Justice Systems offers an option for detention-grade
nurse call, which has the benefit of standardization with the security intercom system
– the two become different forms of the same system, rather than standing alone.
However, to carry UL nurse call labeling, a standalone system must be employed. Many
systems are available. We favor the new VoIP systems as the most feature-laden and
Our CATV systems distribute cable television to patient rooms, cells, dayrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, and other spaces; as well as modulate local origination channels onto the system for information channels, live announcements, and DVD players. We can integrate to local paging systems and cut off audio during all-call announcements. JSC has years of experience with CATV systems. [TOP]
Gone are the days that cameras pointed at architectural flaws in a facility’s sightlines – Central Control rooms today frequently have no windows or direct sight to any of the doors or elevators under their control. Gone also is the reluctance to record – buffers today capture pre-alarm video and retain the actions leading up to an incident; not just use of force afterward. Assurance of video evidence is now so important that camera densities often include each cell.
Older campuses with little cable infrastructure can be a challenge for video retrofits, which need Fast Ethernet or Gigabit networks between buildings. Such infrastructure can cost more than the video system itself (but serves other IT uses as well). Nor is a suitably powered, cooled, and secure server space always available.
JSC has vast experience in correctional CCTV. Nearly twenty video/audio surveillance systems with recording that we have installed within justice facilities (and in many cases designed and maintained) – totaling 1,600 cameras and 1,000 recording channels. These include both networked DVR systems and non-proprietary server-based systems. Many of these systems were retrofit with minimal disruption to ongoing jail operations during the system’s installation, training, and implementation. Our experience covers:
When we integrate video with touchscreen door controls, intercoms, and other components of a fully integrated detention electronics system, camera views are switched automatically by actions of the system:
JSC’s touchscreen systems communicate with either analog matrix switchers or “virtual matrix” systems to accomplish these functions.
Two of our successful “virtual matrix” systems have already been in operation for over a year. By scaling up success with “virtual matrix” switchers, JSC is nearly to the point of recommending IP digital systems for the most demanding of high-rise jails. Doing so will enable HDTV images (720p and 1080p) that better distinguish facial features. But conservative design still employs analog cameras and analog matrix switchers, encoding the cameras for recording – restricting resolution to lower resolution 4CIF (704 x 480 pixels). To maintain resolution with wide scenes, we “stitch” a panorama of two or more cameras together. This keeps native resolution in each frame, but covers the entire scene.
After analysis, our network engineers design and install the network bandwidth and
cabling infrastructure necessary for system traffic (1/10 Gigabit) and work with
IT departments to either isolate the video or safely route it onto the client network.
Where infrastructure is cost prohibitive, we can span the segments with wireless
point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, or mesh networks as required. Analog video over
twisted-pair telephone lines can pick up isolated cameras. We work with agencies
to help design and build a suitable environment for servers and storage. If fiber
is available, remote data centers may be the answer.
Retrofitting video visiting systems into an existing facility can free up staff currently escorting inmates to visitation, allow visitation space and public circulation to be remodeled into other uses, improve security, and more readily permit investigation and recording of visitations. Within a new facility, the floor plan can be significantly revised when the public no longer needs to be brought within physical proximity of inmates.
Unlike visitation-only firms and many other integrators, Justice Systems treats video visitation as an optional function of our touchscreen security systems – rather than a standalone system. With our SecureVisit™ option, either the visiting station or various control stations can schedule and control visiting – allowing visits without staffing the function on a full-time basis.
From either visiting or control stations, authorized users control, monitor, and record all visitation sessions, including:
Visitation Stations: Justice Systems manufactures one of the most durable visitation stations in the industry. The impact-resistant units consist of high-security enclosure, durable handset, and interior camera and monitor. A cart-based mobile unit is available as well. They come with our without built-in H.264 codecs – either baseband analog video/audio or encoded IP for digital videoconferencing.
JSC’s software is highly customizable and can facilitate any number of unique agency
requirements. On an optional basis, we can interface with the facility jail management
system to incorporate automatically incorporate inmate information into the control
Justice Systems understands the complexity of secure vehicle entries. We design our systems to operate intuitively without sacrificing safety or security.
Professionally engineered touchscreens and programmable logic controllers allow seamless entry through a maze of card readers, gate arms, roll-up doors, and active barriers with or without human intervention. This allows timely, safe, and secure movement in both directions. We integrate all types of active vehicle barrier systems to include electrically, hydraulically, or pneumatically operated wedges or bollards. Our systems are designed by licensed professional engineers and our technicians are thoroughly trained and licensed.
Whether you are building a new project or need help improving an existing project, Justice Systems is here to assist. We will work with you during the planning, design, and installation phases to ensure that we respond precisely to your operational needs.
Our service technicians are licensed, experienced, and have the technical training
to provide maintenance and service for all new and existing systems. Justice Systems
provides optional service contracts, as well as assistance on a time and material
basis. We provide reliable, responsive, and flexible service for integrated vehicle
barrier systems throughout North America.
Repairing and maintaining detention electronics is very specialized work encompassing a large array of disciplines (e.g., servers, storage, networking, industrial controls and PLCs, factory automation and HMI, audio intercom and paging, baseband CCTV and video, MATV and broadband video, fire alarm, etc.). Because these systems are replaced on 15- to 20-year cycles, technician knowledge has to span two decades of technology development -- from DOS to Windows 7, relay logic to complex PLC’s, hardwired integrated systems to applications programming interfaces (APIs), traditional electro-mechanical door locks to pneumatic computerized locking systems -- all validate the challenging skill set needed for technicians to responsively support and maintain a variety of correctional security electronic systems.
Because our technicians have these skills, JSC can typically repair the vast majority of issues within 4 hours on site (assuming replacement parts are available). Couple this with guaranteed 24/7/365 response times of 30 minutes by telephone and 8 hours in-person to most locales within the western United States (for those with a maintenance agreement). Clearly, JSC provides a valid alternative to in-house maintenance.
JSC offers emergency repair service 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, for correctional electronic systems. We have established a special 800 number the facility can call when issues arise. JSC further offers this service to any correctional and/or judicial facility on the west coast (Washington, Oregon, and California) wherein we propose a fee schedule based upon the day of the week and hours of service coverage. In most all cases, JSC will propose a guaranteed maximum response time to your facility in the event of an emergency.
For facilities that have a qualified technician handling most of the service related work to the Security Electronics System, JSC offers an emergency service agreement (ESA).
An ESA supports the facility’s technician(s) through telephonic technical support, and an ESA can provide an insurance policy for additional support during, for example, technician vacations or catastrophic failures.
The ESA will include a required minimum on site presence in hours, which depends on your facility location. The ESA is cost effective for newer facilities and provides for that level of ‘insurance’ knowing that a qualified technician will respond in the unlikely event of a system failure.
Medium to large facilities have security electronic systems more complex that require periodic preventative maintenance to keep the system operational. The Service Maintenance Agreement (SMA) simply marries a single funding allocation for both preventative maintenance work and the potential for an emergency service request. Basically the service maintenance agreement is divided into four quarters for the contract year. Funding is allocated per quarter for the estimated preventative maintenance trips. If no emergency service trip(s) are required for that quarter, JSC performs the scheduled preventative maintenance work only.
If an emergency service trip is required, JSC will repair the service issue as well as perform the preventative maintenance work on that unscheduled trip. Dividing funding over four budget quarters allows for evaluation of carrying over or bringing forward emergency service work as a management tool.
Other major aspects of service maintenance agreements include:
Service maintenance agreements are the most popular type of contract with Justice Systems’ clients.
Sustaining Maintenance Agreements are for detention facilities with no ‘on-site’ maintenance staff or a staff of limited capacity. Sustaining Maintenance Agreements provide for a qualified JSC technician on-site either full-time or part-time to perform normal maintenance efforts as well as emergency service repairs. While the technician is an employee of JSC, the work can be managed by a designated facility director or manager.
JSC will evaluate and provide an engineered Sustaining Maintenance Agreement proposal. The same level of care is exercised in the proposal development. JSC will also evaluate the previous 6-12 months of work orders to determine the amount of time required for a sustaining maintenance technician. As part of the submitted proposal for a Sustaining Maintenance Agreements, JSC will provide a budget analysis breakout spreadsheet with estimated hours and material support costs.
Sustaining Maintenance Agreements have been beneficial to facilities because of the fixed cost structure and management. All support costs of the JSC technician are factored into the Sustaining Maintenance Agreement. Traditional facility overhead support is no longer the management ‘headache’ to maintain. Since the providing contractor can schedule and project this labor allocation, cost savings can be realized by the facility.
Justice Systems Corporation (JSC) is licensed throughout the western United States as a low-voltage specialty electrical contractor. We are one of very few detention electronics contractors licensed to both integrate and install systems as a contractor, and to design them as a professional engineers. License Numbers
JSC is a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and signatory
to Sound & Communication agreements with various IBEW local unions (i.e., “union
shop”). We supplement crews with local IBEW journeymen and apprentices, and locally
subcontract conduit and cable installation, thereby providing payroll and employment
to local jurisdictions. We fully participate in the goals of apprenticeship and have
had several apprentices in our employ graduate to journeymen status. We also plan
to assist IBEW’s V.I.C.E. program for the apprenticeship of military veterans.
Shop assembly and fabrication is performed by trained IBEW apprentices under the supervision of our journeyman field superintendent and journeyman project engineer. Rack assemblies are designed for sufficient depth, clean wire management, isolated power distribution and grounding, and thermal ventilation and cooling. Wall cabinets utilize removable back panels, and are designed for cable class separation, isolated power distribution and grounding, and sufficient clearances.
JSC’s systems are fully engineered into shop fabrication drawings before fabrication and programming. All products receive advance client approval through submittals. A registered professional engineer oversees and approves all shop drawings and product data submittals.
All systems undergo a shop burn-in during which every component is evaluated and replaced, if defective. Cables are individually tested, as well as PLC points, and integration between systems. JSC holds software workshops with the customer to present developing screens and software functions. Systems development culminates in a full in-shop test of every instance of every touchscreen function using mock devices to simulate field conditions. Prior to the shop test, sub-systems are individually pre-tested, then integrated together and integration tested. Inspection agency labeling is available as an option.