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RFID Bracelets die at the Prison

By johnboy 10 February 2011 17

Simon Corbell has announced another spectacular failure at the troubled Alexander Maconochie Centre (aka the prison) as their Radio Frequency Identification bracelet (RFID) system has collapsed under the weight of poor maintenance.

“ACT Corrective Services has advised me that there are increasing problems with the battery life of the RFID bracelets, causing the system to generate a large number of false alarms,” Mr Corbell said.

“If a battery on a prisoner’s bracelet drops too low an alarm is activated. When there are too many such alarms the system can overload which requires system re-booting and this is happening at an increased frequency.

“Re-booting the system means all bracelets, including officer duress alarms are then offline, which can place custodial officers in an unsafe position.

“For this reason a short-term solution for this problem is to disable and remove the prisoner units pending delivery of replacement parts to ensure that custodial duress alarms continue to work effectively.

Sooo… ACT Corrections accepted delivery of electronics it was unable to charge?

It took delivery of a system in which if too many alarms are activated the guards duress alarms go offline too? (Very handy for a prison riot)

This is obviously a very well thought out project.

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
RFID Bracelets die at the Prison
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Mental Health Worker 9:29 pm 11 Feb 11

I’d just like to point out that bread + water, left for a period, becomes an alcoholic brew…

MHW

dtc 12:08 pm 11 Feb 11

Skidbladnir said :

dvaey said :

Seriously, who created the system design, let alone the limited testing scope and signed off on the project as complete?

Well, like most government procurement, its was probably run by someone who actually is a policy officer with little technical understanding and no budget to hire specialist advisers (whereas giving more money to the contractor ‘delivering’ the capability is perfectly fine). The usual situation in which one bucket of money (staffing) has nothing in it and the other (capability) has plenty.

And/or the sole aim was to deliver ASAP and the fact that what was delivered doesnt actually work and used short cuts to get to the ribbon cutting stage is someone elses problem.

Skidbladnir 11:59 am 11 Feb 11

dvaey said :

Maybe Im out of touch, but why exactly does RFID need batteries? Maybe if the device was a GPS receiver with some sort of radio beacon, but are they or are they just an RFID? If RFID’s need new batteries, how do dog microchips manage to last for the dogs entire life? How does RFID in supermarkets work forever? The easy solution is inductive power, you dont have batteries in the ID tag at all.

Active RFID, rather than passive RFID, consumes power to ensure sufficient broadcast ranges. They are also bigger, due to needing larger circuitry and native power demands.
Passive RFIDs like the ones in passports (the cardboard page in the middle, hold it up to the light sometime), retail stock inventory (that silvery adhesive patch you find on things), your dog (the injected rice-sized lump), etc induct their power from the transmiter\receiver, but only work at short distances due to minimal circuitry being involved.
All of them are of the “hold it close to the scanner, or walk through a radio field” variety.

IE: You can put people on active RFIDs and then let them outside, or use passive RFIDs, and never let them step more than a meter from an antenna.

I am still courious as to how and why a larger-than-normal volume of maintenance messages can possibly become a data flood of suffient proportions to become a valid method of critical-system service denial for a safety (ie: potentially fatal if it fails) system in a prison.

Seriously, who created the system design, let alone the limited testing scope and signed off on the project as complete?

Pommy bastard 11:04 am 11 Feb 11

dvaey said :

If RFID’s need new batteries, how do dog microchips manage to last for the dogs entire life? .

And why isn’t every prisoner being chipped for life?

Skidbladnir 10:58 am 11 Feb 11

johnboy said :

Yes, but a tracking system that lets the prisoners turn off the guards’ duress alarms? That’s a whole new level of special.

There is no reason to put on maintenance broadcasts on the same network as and with the same priority as safety alerts, especially if a surge of low-priority maintenance messages denies service to your critical comms.
Scope, Scale, and Stress test fail.

dvaey 10:02 am 11 Feb 11

damien haas said :

This is the same thing as all light globes in a house failing within weeks and needing replacement. Then they all fail at the same time again. Obviously you need to have a regular battery replacement program for this security system, replacing the batteries in different phases, and they haven’t.

Maybe Im out of touch, but why exactly does RFID need batteries? Maybe if the device was a GPS receiver with some sort of radio beacon, but are they or are they just an RFID? If RFID’s need new batteries, how do dog microchips manage to last for the dogs entire life? How does RFID in supermarkets work forever? The easy solution is inductive power, you dont have batteries in the ID tag at all.

georgesgenitals 9:43 am 11 Feb 11

cleo said :

I say give em bread and water!

Let them grow the grain to make flour for bread and dig for water.

johnboy 8:58 am 11 Feb 11

Thumper said :

The whole prison has just been a complete and utter clusterf*ck from the start hasn’t it?

Openings before it was finished, security that doesn’t work, etc…

Yes, but a tracking system that lets the prisoners turn off the guards’ duress alarms? That’s a whole new level of special.

Thumper 8:29 am 11 Feb 11

The whole prison has just been a complete and utter clusterf*ck from the start hasn’t it?

Openings before it was finished, security that doesn’t work, etc…

cleo 2:07 am 11 Feb 11

I say give em bread and water!

LSWCHP 9:22 pm 10 Feb 11

Beau Locks said :

There’s a few things going on at AMC that I’m considerably more surprised or concerned about, or that are just plain hilarious, but the likely reaction they’d cause wouldn’t be worth the bother of pointing them out on a public forum.

C’mon….don’t leave us hangin’ man. What’s the scoop?

Beau Locks 6:10 pm 10 Feb 11

I’m having more trouble believing the ignorance and belligerence of people in this town and their attitudes and fuss about AMC than I am about an announcement of something going wrong. There’s a few things going on at AMC that I’m considerably more surprised or concerned about, or that are just plain hilarious, but the likely reaction they’d cause wouldn’t be worth the bother of pointing them out on a public forum.

Davo111 2:17 pm 10 Feb 11

Sigh, i cant believe people actually fall for installing systems like this. What a waste of money

p1 1:47 pm 10 Feb 11

So if all prisoners guests were to cut the bracelets off at the same time, the guards hotel staff wouldn’t be able to raise duress alarm? Sounds like a serious flaw for a prison.

georgesgenitals 1:40 pm 10 Feb 11

Piss poor system planning, design and testing. What a waste of money.

damien haas 1:25 pm 10 Feb 11

This is the same thing as all light globes in a house failing within weeks and needing replacement. Then they all fail at the same time again. Obviously you need to have a regular battery replacement program for this security system, replacing the batteries in different phases, and they haven’t. Unbelievable! Its always the details that catch people out with these grand schemes.

Chaz 12:58 pm 10 Feb 11

why on earth would prisoners need to be chipped like a dog?
the guards should know where they are at all times…in their cell

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