01 December 2011

Ministry of Justice to Employ Robotic Prison Guards

In a break from tradition, the Korean Ministry of Justice intends to replace some of its human prison guards with robot guardians. The robots are designed to patrol up and down prison corridors, to monitor conditions and alert authorities of any violent activity among inmates.
The robots are designed to patrol the corridors of corrective institutions, monitoring conditions inside the cells. If they detect sudden or unusual activity such as violent behavior they alert human guards.

“Unlike CCTV that just monitors cells through screens, the robots are programmed to analyze various activities of those in prison and identify abnormal behavior,” Prof. Lee Baik-chul of Kyonggi University...

...According to Mr. Lee, prison officers have welcomed the idea because the robots can potentially reduce their workload, particularly at night.

And how about the reaction of inmates?

“That’s a concern. _WSJ
Professor Lee denies that the robots are to be seen "terminators," and insists that his team plans to give the robots a humane appearance so as to increase trust on the part of inmates.

It is at least hoped that the terminator robotic guards will be less prone to being corrupted by bribes and payoffs from prisoners, which is a real problem in some locales -- particularly in women's prisons, where sex is often offered for special favours and for the passage of certain contraband items and messages in and out of the prison.

Originally published at Al Fin Potpourri

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