The six prison facilities in Tasmania are getting an upgraded telephone system after a death was caused by an unrecorded phone call.
By using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony system they will also be able to save money – it is estimated that nearly half a million dollars was spent on Tasmanian prisoner phone calls last year.
One useful aspect of a phone system is that the prisoners can be given ID numbers to make their calls. Therefore they can nominate up to 15 telephone numbers to call. Those calls are then recorded and listened to in real-time. The idea is to stop crime, and also prevent any prisoners with suicidal tendencies from hurting themselves.
The death of one Tasmanian prisoner could have been prevented if someone had been listening into his call – at the time the phone system monitoring failed. An inquest into the death declared that a proper telephone system was a valuable for the security and welfare of the prisoners.
Although a tender has been put up it has not been decided which company will provide the new telephone system. However a total of 30 phones will be needed to service about 500 inmates. Tender submissions can be made up till July 27and the new system will be installed by September 2010 on a five-year contract.
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