July 14, 2014
CONTACT: DRC Office of Communications
Prison System Seeking Public Input for Potential Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems
Columbus – On Friday, July 11, 2014, the Wardens of the Lebanon and Warren Correctional Institutions held a community stakeholder meeting to discuss the potential use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) at the two facilities located in Warren County. If approved to proceed, a testing phase will begin in late August/early September with an Aerostat, a tethered, helium device equipped with cameras and infrared abilities.
“The safety of the community and security of our prisons is our number one priority,” said Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Gary Mohr. “We are conducting an operational assessment to determine if investing in this technology will enhance existing security measures in place at these facilities.”
UAS technology could add an additional layer of security to help maintain the safety of the surrounding community and the prisons by bolstering existing perimeter security, preventing and detecting attempts of contraband entering the prison, and enhancing the monitoring of inmates who are approved to work outside the secure perimeter of the prison.
DRC will accept questions and concerns from community stakeholders for a 30-day period, through August 9, 2014. DRC will evaluate any responses received for an additional 15-day period prior to making the decision to begin a testing phase. Community stakeholders can submit comments through email or by phone:
· Email account: DRC.UAS@odrc.state.oh.us
· Telephone number: 513-932-1211 extension 2121
Both the email account and telephone line will be closely monitored. Any comments, questions or concerns will be responded to in a timely manner.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is developing a plan to ensure the privacy of those stakeholders surrounding the prisons is not breached by the potential use of UAS technology.