Inmate Workstation Types

Deciding what kind of system sits in front of the inmate is largely a matter of security vs. cost. At the most secure extreme is the hardened, wall-mount touch-screen kiosk. Academy can supply these, but rare is the environment that makes them a necessity. If the environment does not allow for staff surveillance, or if the population has persistent, destructive behavior patterns, such equipment is required.

In situations requiring high, but not maximum security, desk mount keyboard kiosks are a better choice. Most applications lend themselves to keyboard use over touch screens. Typing is a good skill to practice for their transition. Sitting at a desk typing is less stressful than working with a type pad on a touch screen. A relaxed inmate is less likely to pose a behavior problem. Academy can mount desk mount kiosks on wheeled carts. Resources can be brought to the inmate in this way, eliminating the potential trouble in moving inmates to resources.

PCs have a couple of advantages. The skills to maintain them are common. They are mass-produced and inexpensive. Many institutions give older staff computers a second life by making them available to inmates. However, they are difficult to secure, have void spaces easily used for contraband concealment, and relatively easy for inmates to misuse. Many institutions using PCs have serious difficulties stemming from these drawbacks that they have resorted to banning inmate computer use. Academy has developed a 68-point securitization process for PCs. It is usually better, however, to use systems that are naturally more secure.

Academy usually employs terminals in inmate settings, whether for the classroom or law library. Terminals are inexpensive. They are naturally more secure than PCs. They are often used in classrooms, so have designed-in features to thwart misuse. They are more physically compact, and lack void space for contraband concealment. Still, they typically have wired mice and keyboards, so are best for supervised environments. Modern terminals have the multimedia capability to be used with educational applications like ESL instruction, and advanced models are usable in CAD instruction. Legal applications require only a simple terminal, though one that is programmable to Academy's security settings is best.