Bar Coding System to be Installed in Midland County Jail

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND-  It's a wrist band that every inmate in the Midland County Jail will have. It'll contain a series of numbers that will be unique to each person this will help officers keep track of inmates while they are in custody.

"What this will do is give the officers the opportunity to use the bar coding on different cell blocks where we have to go and look at them once every hour, it will automatically record time and date that they went by them," Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, said.

Right now, officers have to keep a record of what activities an inmate does. Sheriff Painter says it's very easy to make a mistake and this new system will help minimize those mistakes.

"Right now we have to depend on our memory, we have to depend on our pen and paper, we have to depend on a computer entry that's made by a human being to make sure that that entry is correct and with the bar coding we don't have to worry about that,  it's automatic," Painter said.

The bar code system will also help keep track of an inmate when he or she goes out to court and the system will be used in crime investigations.

"Any piece of evidence that comes in , the evidence officer and investigators will now be a able to print out a bar code to put it on a piece of evidence, document it on our computer system where that evidence is at," Painter said.

But before the bar coding system is up running, it will take some planning.

"We'll have to set up perimeters as to the time it takes for walk from point A to point B then if they go out the system and they are sent to this court from the jail, then you have to time that," Midland County Judge Michael Bradford, said.

But when it's finally operating Judge Bradford says it will save the county money.

"And the real emphasis for this is not just the current jail, but if we pass the bond issue or jail expansion this will significantly restrict our need for new personnel," Bradford said.

The hardware and software for the inmate bar coding system was just ordered and it should arrive at the end of this year. But it will go through a couple of trial runs before it's completely installed.