How to Break Free from Outdated Prison Surveillance Systems

Apr 15, 2022 | Blog

Using mechanical switches to call up security cameras, engage intercoms or open doors? It may seem cumbersome and risky, but limited budgets force many prisons and corrections facilities to continue using analog systems.

While the perception is that keeping the status quo is more affordable, legacy systems have their own set of costs. An aging infrastructure of coax and unreliable components leads to maintenance and downtime, hard-to-find replacement parts, non-compliance and generally more cables, equipment and manpower. Most importantly, older technology increases vulnerability to security breaches and potential violence.

The good news is that it’s possible to make incremental moves forward toward Internet protocol (IP)-based cameras, digital video management software, and video appliances. But only a system with true open architecture can deliver a total lower cost of ownership and future scalability.

A Perfect Fit: Open Architecture and Corrections

Open architecture generally refers to a system where interfaces, communication and protocols are publicly available, well documented and free to use — there are no commercial or proprietary barriers.

Why is this relevant for budget-constrained corrections facilities?

An IP-based VMS with open architecture will always equal cost savings — which is why it’s a must-have for corrections security upgrades or new designs. You can use or expand existing hardware and integrate many types of cameras, both analog and digital or IP cameras. You can ease into your procurement cycle.

For example, maybe you require bulk data storage to the tune of a few petabytes depending on archive retention needs. Or you might simply need video viewing workstations. Down the road, perhaps a video wall or higher-definition cameras with better image quality and frame rates. A VMS built on open architecture also lets you easily add on cutting-edge technologies in the future, such as analytics, smart cameras, facial recognition or mobile credentials and more.

In an open architecture deployment, budget management is easier and frees you to take advantage of new features, competitive pricing and multiple vendor options as your organization evolves.

BCD Helps Navigate VMS Open Architecture

With hundreds of corrections deployments under our belt, BCD has the expertise to ensure corrections teams gain all the benefits of open architecture:

  • Ensuring you have the right, first-in-class solutions –recommended by our hardware experts – that fit into an open architecture platform for software partners and integrators to build on.
  • Providing essential, reliable switch gear for these deployments, from simple video client workstations to multi-petabyte storage solutions with recording servers and management servers included.
  • Offering pre-sale support, network design, implementation and even custom scripts for video alarms and system monitoring. A five-year guarantee and 24/7 technical support.

Regardless of how or when a corrections facility moves to IP-based VMS, security threats will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. Ultimately, beefing up security while keeping costs down will require stable, reliable, and high-performing video data infrastructure. BCD is a trusted leader in video surveillance solutions and ready to help future-proof your organization for what’s next.

Don’t let legacy prison security systems lock you in. Talk to BCD about flexible solutions for your evolving organization.