SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A jail where a dozen inmates have died in the last three years, is bringing in new technology to keep better track of inmates’ health. There are currently 270 inmates at the Santa Fe County jail. The inmates receive regular in-person welfare checks but soon those checks will be aided by a digital tracking system.
“I think with this technology it gives us an enhanced opportunity to give us alerts proactively and therefore enhance our response times to emergencies,” said Derek Williams, Santa Fe County jail Warden.
Currently, correction officers are using logs to write down when they’re doing their welfare checks. This new technology will alert them when they need to do these welfare checks on a regular basis. “Have some type of small tablet when it comes to the rounds, they can take pictures if there’s some type of concern,” said Elias Bernardino, Deputy County Manager.
Meanwhile, inmates who have health problems will wear a device, similar to an Apple Watch, which will monitor their vitals and alert correction officers if there’s an emergency. “Inmates who identify more chronic or severe issues can focus on alerting us to the vital signs and keeping track of those types of concerns,” said Williams.
The jail is in the beginning stages of rolling out this technology. So far they have evaluated their current system and they say they need to focus on enhancing their Wi-Fi in order to move forward.
At this time it’s unknown how much the new technology will cost. Officials say they’re hopeful the new technology will be in place by June 2024.