Clark County Jail adding new fingerprint scanner for extra secur - KPTV - FOX 12

Clark County Jail adding new fingerprint scanner for extra security

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CLARK COUNTY, WA (KPTV) -

A new layer of security is coming online this week at the Clark County Jail in Vancouver, two months after a dangerous criminal escaped from the jail by switching clothes and ID bracelets with another inmate.

The new layer of security is a fingerprint capture tool, and corrections officers were being trained on the new system on Tuesday.

Now, inmates will have their fingerprints taken when they're booked and when they're released, and the two will be compared before an inmate is let out.

The local database of prints will only be used by the Clark County Jail, and it's technology the Sheriff's office already had on order when Michael Johnson escaped in May

Johnson was facing 24 years in prison for kidnapping and assault convictions in Arizona, and was on the run for a month before he was captured by U.S. Marshals in Illinois.

The head of the Clark County Jail said had this technology been in place then, Johnson never would have made it out.

Corrections officers will be using the new system, along with the measures already in place like comparing inmate booking photos, physical descriptions and other identifying factors, before inmates are released.

"We’re dealing with people who set out to beat bank technology, they set out to beat identification fraud technology, they set out to beat shoplifting technology. Nothing says they’re not going to try and beat ours too, this simply augments having our deputies use a several-step program to identify them," said Chief Corrections Deputy Rick Bishop.

The new system costs $40,000 and comes from a company called EIS. Over the next 30 days, everyone who is booked and released will be entered into the system, and then deputies will work to catalog the rest of the jail's population, saying it's extremely important for public safety.

Training will continue over the next couple of days, then they hope to have that system online by Thursday or Friday.

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