What Makes Prisons So Secure

What Makes Prisons So Secure

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In the past, we’ve talked about how people can make their homes more secure, but those simple tips and tricks are meant to ward off a few burglars or give you added privacy. It’s nothing compared to the true fortresses that have to be built in order to segregate huge populations from the rest of society—prisons.

These days, prison breaks a largely an issue of the past or restricted to television and movie plots. The reality is that prisons are incredibly secure. The organizations in charge of them have been able to achieve this through a combination of simple concepts that have been perfectly executed.  For anyone curious about what keeps the convicted from escaping, or wondering about how to improve security in general, these basic concepts can be applied to security for personal homes, businesses, and anyone else trying to keep some things in and other things out.

Here’s a brief review of what helps make prisons so secure:

  1. High Tech: For the most part, prisons have the money and the incentive to invest in the best security technology out there. And, every day new advances are happening.  The trick is that prisons continually upgrade and look for something new that will improve their existing systems. As this look at upcoming security systems in Popular Mechanics shows, the future of security is already here. From increased surveillance, to amazing “telehealth rooms” that will allow doctors off site to examine patients (lessening their need to leave the premises), prisons are using technology to eliminate former weak spots in their security.
  1. Doors and Hardware: It seems almost too simple to really make that much of a difference, but the door really does matter. Prisons use commercial steel security doors that are nearly impenetrable, along with heavy-duty hinges and deadbolts, these commercial steel doors ensure no one is getting out of a room once the lock is turned. Reinforcing the basic components of a security system, like doors and locks is a great place for any security system to get upgrades. Prisons complement this heavy duty hardware with good design choices as well, such as choosing locations for prisons that are far from cities, and eliminating as many “hiding spots” or nooks where inmates might be able to slip by as possible.
  1. Teamwork: Beyond design, tough materials, and advances in technology, the real thing that keeps prisons so secure is the guards. Correctional officers like Gary Cornelius, who shared his thoughts on the importance of teamwork, have to work together in order to control large prison populations and deter escapes or violence. Cornelius writes that, “What is most important to remember, no matter your professional training, is that we are a team inside the jail. None of the professionals can be independently successful and one should not sell short others, or abdicate their own skills.” Good advice almost any situation or profession.


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