IRIS Stops Inmates from Escaping by Impersonating Other Inmates

CRANSTON, R.I. -- Rhode Island's Department of Corrections on Friday showed off its new cutting-edge iris scanning technology.

The equipment is designed to positively identify a person by detecting distinct and unique patterns in a person's eyes.

"The most accurate and most easily obtained and highly visible biometrics on our bodies, is our iris," said Sean Mullin of BI2 Technologies.

The devices are designed to increase security and prevent the wrong prisoner from being released.

The ACI began using the scanners this year after an inmate escaped in July by impersonating another inmate.  The technology was in the planning stages at the time.

"Let's put it this way.  Now that this system is in place, it is the last time that someone like Nyquan Gadson can pull that kind of stunt," said Department of Corrections Director A.T. Wall.

Gadson was captured a few days after his escape in New York.

The prison has two of the iris scanners in use: one at the men's intake center and one at the women's.

The first iris scanner cost about $40,000, but it was paid for with a federal grant.

By Katie Davis
Published: December 10, 2010