Tech Works communications systems are in widespread use in medical facilities, correctional institutions, and industrial facilities across the United States. The company’s decades-long combined experience in these applications makes its systems especially well-suited for prisons and their infirmaries.
So when AV systems integrator Serban Sound and Communications was awarded the contract to install a nurse call communications system with an intercom for the hospital and housing units in the California State Prison, Corcoran, the Bakersfield, California, contractor chose a Tech Works VC-Series Voice Call system. As professionals know, a traditional nurse call system doesn’t work in detention applications. But with the addition of dome lights in the infirmary, the Tech Works hybrid VC-Series system was approved by the California Department of Corrections and delivers both voice as well as tone- and light-based smart dome lights. Inmates can summon staff or call for emergency help while they are in the prison infirmary as well as their individual cells.
CSP-Corcoran is a maximum security men’s prison that houses several notorious criminals, including Charles Manson. Any system installed there must operate reliably at a high level despite the unique prison environment. “We recommended Tech Works products because of their cost-effective, robust, tamperproof components,” begins Serban Vice President of Operations Tim Green. “We also value the fact that Tech Works systems are designed for retrofitting and can utilize existing conduit and back boxes in correctional institutions.”
The ability to use existing conduit was especially valuable because in a correctional institution, it often is not possible to gain access to install new conduit. “Access is difficult in a prison,” Green confirms. “At Corcoran, we were working in a 100-bed facility, and the staff had to mobilize and relocate inmates so we could get in to do our work, then relocate the prisoners back again. That was a big challenge.
The master VC-Series stations are fully digital, and calls can be answered and canceled at one or multiple locations, a feature Green appreciates. “We also like that the VC-Series system designs allow us to use all CAT6 cabling, and the component terminations are very installer friendly,” he asserts. “Best of all, it’s a quality product that sounds great. The staff at CSP-Corcoran has experienced no intelligibility issues.”
Normally, Green would look forward to customer satisfaction reports from all parties but it works differently with a correctional institution. “You aren’t going to get customer satisfaction reports from inmates, and some have mental illness issues as well,” Green laughs. “However, after eight months, I haven’t had a service call yet. That says a lot. We love that with Tech Works products, we can put in a system, train the facility staff, and not have to go back because the system is so dependable and easy to use.”
Green has another excellent indicator that the staff at CSP-Corcoran is happy with their communication system. “People who work in correctional institutions talk with each other,” he observes. “After the California State Prison, Corcoran, install, we were called to do another similar installation in a prison in Sacramento, and we have another California prison installation in the pipeline after that. Clearly the customer is pleased and has passed the word along.”