Biometric technologies like iris scanning help positively ID individuals by analyzing a person’s pupil - a unique characteristic that can accurately identify them.
The iris is a strong physical feature for biometric identification because unlike the fingerprint, for example, the iris does not change over time so positive identification is always guaranteed.
According to a report
by the Associated Press (News
), the federal government is now investing in this technology as a way to “build a nearly foolproof identification system” for prisons nationwide to prevent wrongful releases like recent Baltimore, MD inmate Raymond Taylor, who was mistaking released after impersonating his cellmate, the AP reported.
According to the AP, in a bid to create a national database that better identifies registers and tracks inmates, the U.S. Justice Department gave $500,000 grant to the National Sheriff's Association to use for $10,000 grants to be given to around 45 different agencies across the country.
Iris scanning technology, where a person looks into a camera that uses a infrared light to illuminate the map of the iris, has been around for some time, but due to costs has not had widespread adoption.
In addition to preventing mistaken releases, law enforcement can also use iris recognition technology to speed up identifying criminals over fingerprinting, which can reportedly take hours or days to attain results.