Corrections Facility’s Security Solution Takes No Prisoners

Learn how SSI’s Integrated Installation of the Year runner-up ISI Security provided a comprehensive security system for a California-based detention center.

As one of its primary client types and also an ideal environment to show off expertise across a wide variety of technology solutions, it’s no wonder San Antonio-based ISI Security selected one of its most comprehensive detention center projects to vie for SSI‘s Integrated Installation of the Year. Having recently consolidated all its security businesses – including MCS, Com-Tec, PDI and MCS Fire & Security – under one brand, the 20-year-old ISI’s eight locations and 275 employees also serve the government, manufacturing, medical, financial and defense markets.

In the project it submitted for award consideration, ISI Security designed and installed a multifaceted security infrastructure, comprised of fully integrated systems for a 1.2-million-square-foot, 1,722-bed correctional facility in California (name withheld for confidentiality purposes). The system was designed according to a government-issued RFP that was answered by three prequalified design/build teams. The overriding criteria were “the most value per dollar of awarded contract value expenditure that met the aesthetic, operational and longevity requirements established by the owner.”

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Components of the solution include six touchscreens; 2,864 access controlled doors; 66 intercoms; 400 speakers; 362 cameras; 475 card readers; 3,314 personal duress devices; 1,853 RFID tags; and a walk-through scanner. All systems are IP-based and networked back to one centralized location. Programmable logic controllers (PLC) monitor door position switches, alarm points, intrusion intercom buttons, lethal fence detection zones and duress alarm systems. The PLCs also interface with access control, video surveillance, fire alarms and PDAs. Operations and monitoring of the facility are streamlined through touchscreen control stations located in the central control command center.

“Other touchscreen stations are located in other control rooms throughout the facility. The central control touchscreens are redundant of each other, providing effective backup,” says ISI Security President & CEO Ray Gilley. “Operation of the entire facility can be done at any of the touchscreen stations. This functionality is critical in an emergency situation, allowing the user to disable door key switches and card readers in the entire facility with the touch of one button from any of the touchscreens.”

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Capabilities of the touchscreen stations include: control for intercom; control for local key-switch per cell; group/emergency release door control functions; interface IP video surveillance system for manual call-up for alarm events or intercom call-in, with 30 days of recording; interface fire alarm secondary annunciation; interface administrative paging; interface access control system on high traffic and high security doors; interface personal duress alarm system for officers; interface RFID tag system for medical, laundry, maintenance and food carts; walk-through metal detector; and baggage scanner. Training on the system is done remotely on a demo unit or can be done onsite at any of the touchscreen control stations. The end user’s facility captain expresses a high level of satisfaction with ISI’s end result.

“The accelerated schedule along with the size and complexity of the facility put the project at risk to meeting the court-ordered completion deadline,” he says. “[ISI] staff was always professional, courteous and knowledgeable in their area of expertise and because of this we were able to complete the project on time. Their quality of work and dedication to completing the project far exceeded our expectations.”

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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