Gary Grimm a Texas jail guard suffered a major heart attack back in 2016 while he was monitoring a group of inmates in the basement of the Parker County District Courthouse. Retired from his previous job in another prison due to ongoing heart concerns, Grimm treated most inmates the way he would want to be treated, which was just as well. When the inmates noticed his slumped positioning in his chair whilst on watch, they soon realised he was not joking and had become unconscious. They began to shout and bang to alert help, when no one arrived, they resorted to breaking their locked cell gate to help the man before deputies from the nearby courtroom arrived. A heartwarming story that had a happy ending with Gary receiving open heart surgery later on in the year and eternally grateful for their kind actions that could have so easily gone the opposite way.
The alternative scenario is a much scarier one. These inmates had every opportunity to take Gary’s loaded weapon and cause further harm by escaping, taking someone hostage or recklessly shooting out.
This has raised questions about the lack of vital communication needed in high-risk environments such as prisons, courtroom holding cells and even delinquent education centres.
NEC’s iCall is a communication system that has been built with Nurse call in mind, but why can’t it work just as effectively in prisons too? There are huge similarities:
- Similar physical environments such as separated wards, blocks and cells with varying states of existing telephony.
- Prison subordinates are also co-dependent inhabitants where individuals are often sectioned off on their own with their actions closely monitored.
- Prison guards like nurses need the help and support of communications to keep a control of a large amount of people across an expansive area.
- Specific nurse call functions can be used in medical wards or for inmates with sudden or ongoing health issues, ticking off and logging every movement and inmate medical information.
Jenna is a Masters graduate in Visual Communication & Graphic Design with a passion for hand drawing and typography. She is known for her inquisitive questions on life and childlike taste in bags. When she isn’t sat in front of her Apple Mac designing, she is hiking through nature or travelling across the pond to the West Coast, USA.