Monday, July 28, 2014

Careless Key Control in Alcatraz and Indiana

Alcatraz, the most famous prison in the U.S., saw multiple escape attempts while it was open. Though no one succeeded, it's amazing more people didn't try, given the lax key storage. The key box pictured below clearly offers little resistance to resourceful prisoners.

Small box holding Alcatraz's keysFortunately, the key control standards of today are much higher. But even with the advanced key control technology that currently exists, sloppy key management still occurs.

For example, the largest prison in Indiana had to change every lock in its facility due to missing master keys. Not only are such mistakes costly ($53,000 in this case), but they also put lives in danger.

To prevent key control mishaps, consider using an electronic key control system that enforces accountability by automatically recording transaction information when a user requests a key. These systems record the employee's name, the date, the time and the key that was requested. If a key goes missing, you can use this information to quickly identify the last person who checked it out and resolve the issue immediately.

You can also set up text or email alerts to be notified immediately of missing keys, rather than finding out after the weekend has passed, like the warden at the Indiana prison did. If the checkout time of a key exceeds its limit, you'll know right away and can approach the guard who last requested it.

Has your prison experienced any additional benefits of electronic key control systems? Let us know in the comments.

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