Hong Kong Ready to Start Building First Smart Prisons

Keeping prisoners safe is not an easy task: they can be pumped to death with secret drugs, terrorize their inmates and engage in self-harm.

The Hong Kong Department of Corrections (CSD) has developed a plan to use robots, wearable electronic devices and other IoT technologies to improve the management of the 8, 300 inmates held in the metropolitan prisons.

The first step towards creating a smart prison system will be to test several technologies and then introduce them into everyday practice.

One such technology is a robotic arm sifting through the faeces of newly arrived prisoners in order to detect items prohibited in the prison, and, first of all, drugs.

The next know-how is a tracking bracelet, which has a lot in common with a regular fitness bracelet. With its help, the physical condition of prisoners and their location will be monitored. In case of deviations from the "norm" - poor health, self-harm, etc., the prison administration will immediately receive a notification.

Correctional Facility Pik Uk is currently testing a "smart" video surveillance system, which includes 12 cameras with "video analytic monitoring functions." They can record unusual behavior of prisoners, in particular, causing harm to themselves or property.

And yet it is too early to talk about the effectiveness of these innovations. Thus, in the past year, two inmates in Hong Kong prisons committed suicide, and 48 harmed themselves. Nevertheless, the experience gained will certainly come in handy in the creation of "smart" prisons of the future.