Prisons & Correctional Facilities Communication

IP or analog intercom for prison: The primary purpose of a prison communication intercom system is to facilitate safe and secure movement of staff, visitors and detainees. However, these three groups have their own communication requirements which can be very different from each other.

The visitors want to meet the inmate in a safe and secure environment. The prisoners would prefer an intercom station in their cell that offers music distribution and light control. Finally, the guards want the intercom stations in the cells to be equipped with a scream alarm and light signaling in case of an attack. This means that the intercom itself needs to be rugged and offer a high level of integration with other technologies.

The guards patrolling the facilities want a direct communication link to the control room and the other guards patrolling the corridors. The control room wants to have eyes and ears throughout the entire building and be able to address individual cells or public zones.

Prisoner Communication


The STENTOFON Tamper and Vandal Proof Stations are specially designed for prison and correctional facilities. With safety and security in mind for both guards and prisoners, these stations come with in built scream alarm, assault alarm, tamper alarm and light signaling.

Made for rough environments

The stations have a vandal proof design with a 2.5 mm steel front, sensor buttons, microphone/speaker protection. The stations are also water resistant. The 5 button station offers bed light control and music distribution with volume control and channel indication.

STENTOFON also offers substations for use in the prison cell. These stations are vandal resistant and also offer the possibility of connection to external equipment.

Guard Communication & Safety

Guard Communication & Safety            

The stations inside the prison cell are not only equipped for the benefits of the prison but also to offer additional protection to the guards. The stations offers two security features for the guards; scream alarms and integrated light signaling.

Guard Safety

When a guard or prisoner scream, the station will automatically be activated and connect to the control room. If a CCTV camera is connected, it will also be switched on and stream video to the guard room. The integrated light signaling system runs as a back up to the scream alarm. The stations are connected to special lights installed outside the prison cell. When a guard inspects a cell, he switches on the scream alarm. If the guard either screams or touches any of the buttons on the stations, the light will switch from green to red to indicate there is a problem.

Guard Mobility

Mobility is another very important feature for the guards. They are constantly patrolling the premises and need to be able to reach the right people just as easily as if they were using a fixed intercom station. STENTOFON offers integration possibilities between conventional radio equipment and the communication system. However, STENTOFON recommends a special range of portable IP DECT equipment that offers the basic functions and possibilities of an intercom system. The IP DECT stations connect to the STENTOFON system over a SIP interface and are able to move between repeaters installed across the premises. This means that the IP DECT stations can be carried around anywhere without ever losing their communication link to the system.

Broadcasting Messages & Music

Broadcasting Messages & Music            

Pre-recorded messages

An advanced Public Address system is an absolute must in order to keep control in a correctional facility. The control room has the ability to address the entire building or a specific prison cell. In case of fire or other emergencies; pre-recorder messages are broadcasted in certain areas to guide the people to safety. At the same time the station can trigger certain doors to lock automatically.

The same Public Address system will be used to broadcast music in the canteen hall and on the exercise grounds. It will provide general information to the inmates.

Zone addressing

With STENTOFON it is possible to fully integrate a Public Address system and configure and manage it with the STENTOFON software. By use of special hardware parts all the speakers and amplifiers can be grouped in zones and micro zones. These zones will have their own dial extension and can be addressed from any master station.

The same stations that are used inside the prison cells are also used as listening posts in hallways and public areas. They can be configured to trigger an alarm if a certain db-level is exceeded for a certain amount of time.

Integrated System

STENTOFON offers advanced integration with CCTV and Public Address systems. Since the introduction of IP technology, STENTOFON is also integrating on a software based level with protocols such as OPC, .NET and SIP.

OPC Software

Using cameras in combination with audio allows security to make sound judgments based on what they see and hear. STENTOFON’s OPC Server Software makes it possible to combine intercom with CCTV using standards based on integration with OPC (Open Connectivity via Open Standards) and Microsoft.NET. This method greatly reduces implementation time and cost of system integration.

Cell monitoring

By a combination of light signaling, scream alarm and CCTV, the prisoners are constantly monitored in a passive way. This means that the minute an irregularity occurs, e.g. an attack on the prisoner, the scream alarm will activate the intercom station. The CCTV camera linked to this station over OPC will automatically be activated and the video window appears on the guard’s PC screen. The sound is activated and the light installed outside the prison cell will shine red to indicate that there is a problem in the cell.



First IP Prison Communication System Realized in Munich, Bavaria

STENTOFON's distribution partner Scanvest GmbH has used STENTOFON IP technology to produce PrisCom IP prison cell stations for the German market and more specifically, a 300 cell prison in Munich. Each station has its own light call controller which works in permanent functional redundancy to the IP substation kit. This concept is more secure than the requirements of the normal DIN 0834 for hospitals and prisons. With IP in each cell, Scanvest and Zenitel are now able to sell additional applications like shop price lists, electronic form sheets and other solutions for better workflow in a prison.

Further references;
  • Zuidoost Politie Cellencomplex, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
  • Rheinbach, Germany 
  • Oslo Police, Norway 
  • Regensdorf, Switzerland 
  • SuperMax Correctional Facility, USA 
  • Prison Castelon II, Spain
  • Prison Sevilla II, Spain
  • Prison Madrid VII, Spain
  • Arrecife – Lanzarote, Spain
  • Prison Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Police Brandenburg, Germany
  • Police Lower Saxonia, Germany
  • Police Hessen, Germany
  • Wiltshire Constabulary Headquarters, UK

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