“Monitoring Room 2”: Another view of the camera monitoring system control room at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. (Source: ADOC)
“Monitoring Room 1”: Camera monitoring system control room at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. (Source: ADOC)
“Dorm Cameras”: Video surveillance cameras have been installed in the dorms at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. (Source: ADOC)
WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) -
More than 300 surveillance cameras are up and running at the Alabama Department of Corrections' troubled Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka.
The ADOC says the camera system's aggressive construction schedule was completed ahead of its mid-July deadline and marks the latest effort to upgrade the facility and its operations.
Staff who are responsible for operating the system have already been trained on its technical capabilities, the department said in a release issued Thursday. Now, it is training employees on legal aspects of camera monitoring to ensure its effective use.
The cameras feed back a bird's eye view of the facility to centrally located offices where authorities monitor computer banks and large flat screen monitors. ADOC officials expect the cameras to being recording 24/7 within a week.
The system was designed to eliminate blind spots, help with investigations of prisoner actions and improve upon accountability. The facility, which holds all of Alabama's female death row inmates, has been blasted for scandals involving alleged widespread sexual abuse and harassment by male corrections officers.
"Completion of the
camera installation at Tutwiler is a significant accomplishment for the Alabama
Department of Corrections and continued proof of the department's efforts to
make the facility safer for inmates and staff," Governor Robert Bentley said.
ADOC Commissioner Kim Thomas says he wants to use the camera system's implementation at Tutwiler as a blueprint for other state corrections facilities. "We understand the ultimate success of the camera
system is dependent on its management," Thomas said.
Those trained on the system include administrators from Tutwiler and Central Office, as well as the sergeants charged with monitoring the surveillance cameras. Training will be an ongoing process to assure proper monitoring.