Correctional Officers

The goal of the Correctional Officer Distress Alarm (CODA) project is to increase the safety of correctional officers. A small CODA tag is worn by the correctional officer monitoring his location and relaying this information to the central control tower. An officer can call for assistance by a push of a button. Furthermore, the officer tag will detect a fall or impact automatically relaying help to his precise location.  A CODA system means enhanced security and safety for correctional officers, as well as reductions in “burnout” and turnover. This project is under supervision by both the National Institute for Occupational and Health Safety and the Madison County Detection Facility.


In the demonstration here, we deployed a CODA system on a block hosting 40 beds in five cells. Non line of sight range of the NFER locators is 40ft. through steel reinforced concrete and steel doors. Tracking accuracy was measured randomly within cells, showers, public areas, corridors, and the central tower showing 2ft rms errors. A further test was performed to assess cell level accuracy. This single blind test consisted of a guard randomly entering cells, dwelling a moment and allowing the software to record his location. The software recorded sequence of cells entered was then compared to the truth data recorded by the guard. Over 100 trials were performed with 100% accuracy demonstrating very high confidence in locating guards.