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Prison junkies face biometic tests

Blimey, I need a fix, lend us your eyeball
Tue Apr 15 2008, 14:45

NEC UK SAID it has extended a framework agreement with the Department of Health to provide biometric-based Computer Controlled Methadone Dispensing System (CCMDS) to prisons in England.

The biometic system is supposed to control the dispensing of prescribed methadone to prisoners addicted to opiates.

There are around 80,000 souls languishing in English jails and up to 60 per cent of these are thought to be druggies of some kind.

The poll-out began in December with a targeted 72 prisons. The the scheme is headed for 100.

The CCMDS uses a combination of fingerprint and iris scans to access the prisoner’s treatment record before dispensing methadone.

Participation in CCMDS is not mandatory for lags, but if you don't sign up, presumably you get no drugs, so uptake is high. NEC says there is no infringement of personal security or human rights as CCMDS does not physically store 'images' of biometric data, only the coding which enables an individual to be identified.

Dave Marteau, Offender Health Substance Misuse bod at the Department of Health, said: "Our larger prisons see ten new patients per day, and have as many as 300 patients on treatment at any one time. Biometric recognition linked to a computerised prescription is an excellent patient safety support to our clinicians.”

NEC works with Methasoft UK Ltd and Human Recognition Systems Ltd to provide the complete system, including biometric
software, network infrastructure, computer hardware and a methadone dispenser.

David Payette, CEO and President, NEC UK reckons biometric authentication and verification, "will continue to become more prevalent as the requirement for tighter security and absolute verification of an individual increases." µ


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