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6 Expert Tips to Improve Jail Safety & Security

Even with the proper equipment in place, a jail still needs some fundamental Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to achieve optimal security and jail safety. While funding, staffing, and equipment obviously matter for the ultimate security of your facility, you can implement some simple safety measures to ensure the highest security possible with your current resources.

Here are Willo’s 6 expert tips on how to improve your jail’s safety and security.  

1 – Daily Cell Checks for Jail Safety

Implement daily cell checks to evaluate each door and whether it is indicating properly to the control room. A proper cell check includes:

  • Opening and closing the door to check for engaged locking mechanisms
  • Communicating with the control room officer to monitor the control room indication when the door opens and closes
  • Checking for obstructions that may prevent the door from closing or from deadlocking securely
  • Expediting any issues or concerns immediately to maintenance personnel

2 – Securely Closed Cell Doors Around the Clock

The cell door is the first line of defense between the inmate and the corrections officer, so ensuring the cell door is secure should be your top priority. Savvy inmates have found ways to manipulate the locking mechanisms in order to prevent the doors from securing properly, allowing them to pop out unexpectedly on officers and other inmates.

Never leave your doors open where the inmates can tamper with them or the lock. The doors should always be secure, even if the inmates are in the dayroom or out for other reasons. Doors left open give inmates time to find ways to obstruct and manipulate the door and locks.

3 – Properly Trained Control Room Officers

Make sure your officer in the control room is properly trained on the jail’s procedures, such as ensuring doors are never left open. They should also be able to understand the control system’s door indication, which shows when a door is open and insecure or shut and secure. Their ability to understand the control system’s door indications helps them to quickly notice when a door appears to be shut on camera but is indicated as insecure.

If a door is not indicating properly, the issue will lie either at the lock, door position switch, or the control room. A few simple tests can diagnose the problem and its exact location. Any indication that is not normal should be immediately relayed to maintenance so that they can address the issue.

4 – Properly Trained Staff Members

Proper training extends beyond control room officers. Staff at all levels require proper training, including maintenance technicians, facilities management, and office workers. Keep a list of SOPs hanging in your building that addresses inmate interactions and management, jail safety procedures, and other important rules concerning safety.

5 – On-Call Local or On-Site Maintenance Technician

Hire an on-call local maintenance technician, onsite maintenance technician, or a service company that can work on your locks when the need arises. The longer you wait on a maintenance technician to arrive to fix a security issue, the longer your staff and personnel are exposed to an unsafe environment. This may be an expensive fee when the need arises, but it is one of the most important factors to have in place, especially when your locking systems and devices are outdated.

6 – Routine Lock Upkeep to Increase Longevity

Perform yearly routine maintenance on your locks and doors. This should consist of lubricating moving parts, adjusting limit switches, cleaning out any debris, and adjusting the door and/or hinges for proper alignment. Routine maintenance keeps locks working properly and at optimal capacity. It not only ensures a secure environment but adds to the longevity of a lock’s lifecycle.

Address Larger Concerns with Your Jail Safety & Security

If you have implemented the items from the list above and still need advice on how to address your facility’s security concerns, we are here to help. Consult with Willo to upgrade and enhance your facility’s security.

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