Public Sector Security Series: Improving Control of Prison Key Access In our Public Sector Security Series we are shining a light on the importance of key and asset management systems in these types of industries. This article of the series discusses the prison industry’s need for strong key and asset management and the solutions that can help improve it. Improving Control of Prison Key Access At a prison, security is the number one concern for operations to run smoothly. Prison security managers are responsible for locking down their facility and protecting the public, so control of key access is paramount. There have been stories across the media resulting from improper key access management and the last thing you want is to be the next negative headline. What’s the best solution to prevent this? Integrate a digitally automated key management system into your operations. The Biggest Concerns of Key Control Key control issues stem from two primary management issues: staff accountability and thorough key monitoring. Many prison facilities use the classic method of processing the exchange of keys, via manual checkout and return. However, with manual methods comes greater possibility for human error, and this is why staff accountability is one of the top two concerns. It’s not just the staff that needs to be scrutinized for proper key control. When keys are managed manually, thorough and constant monitoring of keys is impossible. When keys go missing, management is faced with many critical questions that aren’t easy to answer: Who had the keys last? Did the last guard misplace them? Did the wrong staff member get access to keys they shouldn’t have? Did someone steal the keys? Which access keys were on that key ring? Are we at risk for prisoner escape or worse? Do we need to go on high alert? Will we need to change out some or all key access points? Do we have the budget for such a security overhaul? As you can see, this circumstance of vulnerability can easily escalate to a crisis situation within a prison and lead to extremely costly consequences. Increased control of both keys and personnel are critical to diminish the opportunities for key loss to occur. The most advanced yet low cost and seamlessly integrated method to do so is through digitally automated key management technology. The Digital Key Management Solution Having a digitally automated system in place to monitor and control your prisons’ key access will alleviate these two primary issues. These systems utilize electronic cabinet systems to store, distribute, monitor, and track keys. With each staff member having a unique access code, no keys can accidentally be given to the wrong person and staff accountability regarding key access will be completely in check. If keys go missing, you will know exactly who had last access to them and when. Thorough key monitoring is also a much more streamlined and complete task, with 24 hour monitoring and the ability to pull audits on the key management system at any point. The system can not only notify you of who has what keys in real-time, but it will also set off notifications when keys are not returned on time or are taken beyond the facility or designated area of use. No longer are you faced with the costly possibility of having to completely overhaul your key access points simply because one guard left with his prison keys on him and accidentally dropped them on his walk home. These digitally automated key management cabinets seamlessly integrate with current security systems, allowing for a quick and easy assimilation with your existing operations. Streamlining your operations process to save time during shift changes, eliminating the threat of unnecessary high costs, holding staff more accountable of the keys and assets they are responsible for, and allowing for 24 hour, real-time monitoring of keys are the many benefits of leaving manual methods behind and taking advantage of the intelligent automated key management solutions available. Traka’s Advanced Key Management Solutions Don’t let your prison facility be the next tragic news headline. Traka provides these intelligent key and asset management systems for many prisons and detention centers around the world with a wide array of applications, including: Managing keys to cells and restricted areas Retaining property or evidence Controlling security equipment and alarm access And more Traka’s products include all of the benefits these automated key management systems provide, can be used with both classic key sets and magnetic ID or biometric reads for access, and easily integrate into almost any existing prison access control systems such as Unilink, Gunnebo and many more, Traka is a Lenel OAAP Certified Partner and is committed to providing the best in safe and innovative prison solutions. Learn more about our prison security solutions here.