AI Set to Disrupt Prisons and Jails
Govciooutlook

AI Set to Disrupt Prisons and Jails

Catalina Joseph, Gov CIO Outlook | Saturday, December 26, 2020

The underlying assortment of AI-driven innovations is starting to transform the way prisons track their inmate populations.

FREMONT, CA: New technology powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping correctional officers and sheriffs to crack down on unsolved crimes and foil everything from abuse and drug smuggling to attempted suicides—in real-time, in some cases—through automated mass surveillance of millions of phone calls inside national prison and prison networks.

Data-mining jail telephone calls

The AI systems used in these cases use speech-recognition technology, semantic analytics, and machine learning software to create growing databases of searchable words—part of a global revolution in neural networks that can interpret speech and build databases that were prohibitively hard to discover with AI in real time a few years ago. The underlying assortment of AI-driven innovations being sold to jails and prisons, which quickly disrupts current prisoner documented call databases, is starting to transform the way prisons track their inmate populations. The smart prison industry is still growing.

One company embeds its own investigators into the corrections and law enforcement departments for which it contracts. Those investigators seed databases with keywords, phrases, and prison terminology unique to the area of the world. They then alert law enforcement partners when the device picks up suspicious language or phrases, a quick-response mechanism that company officials say has stopped hundreds of attempted suicides in many states over the past two years—after officials were able to obtain therapy inmates within minutes and hours of the inmate's recording of self-harm. The same procedure is followed when reported communications point to imminent threats of aggression inside the facility or plots to smuggle contraband.

Prisons and prisons are looking at this very seriously, and a few are using it to try to find the right balance and combination between human and technology.

Cracking codes

Criminal activity in jails and prisons is expressed in code, where words can have very different meanings in different locations and can vary from month to month or year to year. AK-47, generally known as a stick in prison culture in Alabama, is referred to as a tube elsewhere, or a mower or a chopper, according to corrections made by officials in two states. All that slang might be out of date a year from now, so investigators are continually feeding new prison slang knowledge to databases customized to their particular jurisdiction or geographic area.

Check out: Top Artificial Intelligence companies

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