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Biometrics - Case Studies

Idesco to provide access control solutions to Finland’s Kuopio Prison
The access control systems to be deployed in the Kuopio Prison will ultimately include hundreds of readers and tags 
Idesco will provide advanced access control technology to Kuopio prison in Finland

Idesco was recently chosen by the Kuopio Prison in Finland to supply its access control readers during the renovation and expansion project of its prison building. Construction of the new building has been completed and renovation of the old complex will follow during the next few months. System provider Niscayah Oy will maintain its role as installer of these systems through the renovation phase as well. Idesco's products have acquired a reputation for durability and reliability for, over the past twenty years the national Criminal Sanctions Agency has purchased thousands of Idesco readers and tags for nearly every closed prison in Finland.

The access control systems to be deployed in the Kuopio Prison will ultimately include hundreds of readers and tags. Every inmate will receive a personal tag which will open their cell door at specific times during each day. Finnish Prisons have been the forerunners in deploying contactless technology across such scales. Naturally, the systems that result from combining different technologies and products must have proven their reliability across the wide variety of conditions prison settings invariably offer. In such environments, where the movement of individuals must be strictly controlled, the reliability and security of an access control system is paramount.

A unit in the national Criminal Sanctions Agency under the aegis of the Finnish Ministry of Justice is tasked with security and properties and manages acquisitions, planning and instructions related to construction. This unit is also responsible for maintaining technical systems, thereby freeing other Criminal Sanctions Agency personnel to focus on their primary task of prison service. This unit evaluated Idesco's identification products and judged them to meet the Criminal Sanctions Agency's demanding reliability and durability requirements.

Readers installed in prison settings are often inserted into walls 
Idesco will provide world class access control technology to a Finnish prison

"We didn't want lesser-known products or pilot technology in our prisons; we needed safe and reliable devices, installed according to our requirements. Over our long experience with Idesco's readers they have proven to be very durable", says Mr. Ari Pakarinen, security engineer in Criminal Sanctions Agency.

The system provider, Niscayah Oy, which specialises in security systems and services, began operations in the early 90's. They have grown into the predominant provider of personal security, CCTV, access control and time & attendance systems for prisons throughout Finland.

"Readers installed in prison settings are often inserted into walls behind a casing with plexiglass, so they must be capable of reading tags through glass. Another special requirement of readers is that they possess long read distances, enabling guards to open doors while still standing behind a group of inmates", says Mr. Raimo Aho, manager of the Public Administration segment sales group at Niscayah.

Furthermore, many old prisons are also historically-listed structures, introducing yet another challenge when installing modern technology. In some instances, a separate system may be required at a site to restrict access only to individuals who are involved in actual construction work. There are often other special requirements system integrators must satisfy before being authorised to work in such prison settings. Over the years, Niscayah has developed a team of specially-trained personnel for performing such sensitive installations.

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