13 Oct 2022


The Use and Impact of Biometrics in Correctional Facilities

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 811

Pages: 3

Downloads: 0

Correctional facilities have the daunting task of ensuring that the inmates remain under supervision. Thus, they are always in pursuit of better ways to ensure that the goal is achieved. The use of Biometrics in the correctional facilities is gaining popularity due to its correctness and efficiency. Comparing to past technology that included use of cards, personal identification numbers, and card keys was inadequate. The inmate biometrics technology eliminates all the previous weaknesses as it measures the physical characteristics of the individual with each of the inmates having different attributes. However, despite its effectiveness, Biometric use in correctional facilities has been viewed negatively due to the issues raised by their use. The paper discusses such issues, which include security, ethical, accuracy and reliability and their abuse. 

The use of Biometrics in inmates by the government involves collecting individual data, which raises the legality of the action. It is a constitutional right for the person whose data is being recorded to have privacy. Therefore, constitutional issues arise from such act. The reason behind this is that by using biometrics on an individual, the government collects both intrinsic and extrinsic information. However, the individual’s information is critical and therefore collecting it amounts to the breach of the individual's security. Therefore, the use of the biometrics on the students raises the question of whether it constitutes a search. If it is a search, then the next question is whether it is reasonable, as the authorities must have reasonable cause to search any individual failure to which would amount to a prosecution, as it is a breach of the constitution. By introducing the privacy concerns of the biometrics in the correctional facilities, their use among inmates is slower than earlier anticipated (Muraskin, 2010). 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Despite the technology posing legal matters, it also poses threats to the privacy of the individual. Unlike recognition devices, biometrics is always tied to every individual. It allows the information of the individual to be corrected continuously without their knowledge and consent. In the correctional facilities, the biometrics technology is used to track the inmates’ movements, determine their timeliness, and note their exact locations at all times. The use of the biometric techniques to track down individuals is critical, as one party must benefit at the expense of the other. In this case, the use of biometric technology in collective facilities puts the government at an advantage at an expense of the inmates. However, despite the position of the inmates, they still deserve the right to privacy as human beings and the United States citizens. The correctional facilities override such ethics and choose to supervise every little action the people do in correctional facilities (Ashbourn, 2014). 

The biometrics used in the correctional facilities requires connection to a database. For instance, if an inmate scans his retina on a scanner, the information is transferred to a database with numerous retinas for identification in a process known as interoperability. However, such operations must not be as smooth or seamless as they sound presenting the reliability and accuracy concern. For instance, the biometric scanning and recognition may take too long thereby serving as an inconvenience to the facilities. The fact that the biometrics are continuously used in the correctional facilities factors in the question of its effectiveness. In some cases where part of or the entire system fails, then it means that all the activities must be halted to ensure that the machines are working collectively (Ashbourn, 2014). Moreover, the issue of security in the correctional facilities is critical. However, increased reliability of the biometrics in prison facilities is a weakness in the end as when it fails; it becomes a recipe for disasters such as riots, escape, or even violence among the inmates. 

The use of Biometrics in the correctional facilities also increases the prospects of abuse of information on the inmates. The biometrics collects the personal information on the inmates. Registering in the biometric system in itself hands over private information to the authorities such as the Eye scan, facial recognition information and the hand geometry (Muraskin, 2010). The inmate has no way whatsoever to control the way the information I used or stored. In most cases, the information is not only stored in the facility’s system but also shared with other entities in the country. In most case, even after the inmates leave prison, the biometrics is used on them without their consent or awareness. For instance, in urban areas, former inmates’ images have been used to warn shop owners of potential danger to their premises through a discrete facial scan of the people approaching the business. In such Scenarios, the biometric information is in no way favorable to the inmate regarding ethics, security and is highly abused for personal gains even after the person has left prison (Ashbourn, 2014). 

In conclusion, the effectiveness of Biometrics in correctional facilities is superior to any other method in the facility; however, its use raises many concerns especially in the area of ethics, security, and the abuse of the information. Since the inmates are not in control of the information, there are numerous possibilities that it may be used against its intended purposes outside the facilities. Moreover, it may also amount to a disadvantage following its failure to work or link with the databases thereby leading to the question of its reliability and accuracy. However, despite the numerous concerns, biometric technology in correctional facilities remains the better option for the authorities. 


Ashbourn, J. (2014).    Biometrics: Advanced identity verification: the complete guide . Springer. 

Muraskin, R. (2010). Key correctional issues (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). The Use and Impact of Biometrics in Correctional Facilities.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Research in Criminal Justice

Research is the primary tool for progressing knowledge in different fields criminal justice included. The results of studies are used by criminal justice learners, scholars, criminal justice professionals, and...

Words: 250

Pages: 1

Views: 165

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

The Art of Taking and Writing Notes in Law Enforcement

Every individual must seek adequate measures to facilitate input for appropriate output in daily engagements. For law enforcement officers, the work description involving investigations and reporting communicates the...

Words: 282

Pages: 1

Views: 182

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Justice System Issues: The Joseph Sledge Case

The Joseph Sledge case reveals the various issues in the justice system. The ethical issues portrayed in the trial include the prosecutor's misconduct. To begin with, the prosecution was involved in suppressing...

Words: 689

Pages: 2

Views: 251

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Victim Advocacy: Date Rape

General practice of law requires that for every action complained of there must be probable cause and cogent evidence to support the claim. Lack thereof forces the court to dismiss the case or acquit the accused. It...

Words: 1247

Pages: 4

Views: 75

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

New Rehabilitation and Evaluation

Introduction The rate of recidivism has been on the rise in the United States over the past two decades. Due to mass incarceration, the number of people in American prisons has been escalating. While people...

Words: 2137

Pages: 8

Views: 139

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Justification of Reflections and Recommendations

Credible understanding and application of criminal justice require adequacy of techniques in analyzing the crime scene, documenting the shooting scene, and analysis of ballistic evidence. The approaches used in...

Words: 351

Pages: 1

Views: 127


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.