The day of the electronic head count has arrived, but instead of counting heads, the staff of Washington County jail will be electronically scanning wristbands.

New jail warden named

Edward Strawn

Jail Warden Edward Strawn obtained two grants to put in place a scanning system that will keep track of inmates’ whereabouts in the facility at all times, reducing the amount of paperwork.

Strawn Wednesday explained the system to members of Washington County Prison Board, which voted to accept the warden’s report.

The commissioners, on behalf of the purchasing department and jail, also approved a three-year agreement with Guardian Radio Frequency Identification of Maple Grove, Minn., for hardware, software and support services.

A $129,369 grant from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and its risk pool insurance will cover several aspects of the system’s cost, but if the county cancels it during the three-year period, the county will be required to reimburse all or part of the total cost.

Washington County will be responsible for integrating the new system into its case-management and wi-fi connections, providing wristbands at $1 each and paying a yearly renewal fee of $3,500 for maintenance, software updates, data backup, customer service and technical support, all of which will be covered by an IC Solutions technology grant.

Another IC Solutions grant of $12,868 will pay for hardware, labor and an assessment of a wireless network to create a new configuration.

Scanning, which can be done with a hand-held or wall-installed device, will log inmate activity and attendance at programs and cell checks, and track inmates’ movements and transportation.

“We’re trying to go paperless like everybody else,” Strawn said Wednesday of the jail’s record-keeping duties.

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