HMP Wellingborough is a Category C Prison located in Northamptonshire. In January 2004 Head of Operations, Steve Goodliffe, was looking for modern computerised visitor monitoring system to stop visitors of inmates from using a false identification to gain access to the prison.
The key requirements were that it had to be a secure system, easy to use and incorporated a photo ID system that was not open to abuse.
After reviewing the systems available, Steve ordered a Prison Pass system from Tensor. This was installed by Tensor in March 2004. No problems were encountered during the installation of either the software or the hardware.
Wendy Longmuir and Phil Stone of the prison service were trained in how to use Prison Pass at Tensor’s training centre in Hail Weston. “It was fine” and “super-dooper” was how they described the quality of the training. They said the training was very interesting and of the Training Centre at Hail Weston House, “Yes – facilities were very nice” .
HMP Wellingborough have called the Tensor Helpdesk and found them to be “very helpful” and the Tensor Systems Department were “Excellent” .
Although Wellingborough feel they do not use Prison Pass to it’s full potential they are looking forward to adding the new Tensor Finger Print reading equipment to the system in the near future. Particularly, as it will provide irrefutable proof of the identity of a prison visitor.
Asked what they like best about Prison Pass the staff said it was being able to record a photo against a visitor plus fingerprint reading – so long as the system is run properly. When asked if HMP Wellingborough recommend Prison Pass to other prisons, the reply was “Yes, but only if the prison had the facilities to run it properly. It is a good system but the staff need to run it properly” .
Summing up Tensor in a few words they concluded: “A good company and a good system, as long as it’s used properly” .
The establishment was opened in 1963 as a Borstal and held Young Offenders until 1990 when the prison was used temporarily to house the therapeutic community from Grendon whilst essential repairs were carried out. Immediately after Grendon returned to their current site, Wellingborough re-opened as a Category C training prison.