Pelco Systems help secure new Panamanian Prison

Pelco Systems help secure new Panamanian Prison
Due to aging facilities and high inmate populations at the original La Joya and La Joyita prisons, Panamanian Government officials opened a tender for the construction of a new and larger penitentiary in Pacora, Panama. The bid was awarded to the consortium UM Panamá, S.A., which in turn subcontracted the services of AMV International Development, S.A. With the idea of safety and security of the inmates, employees, and visitors as the main objective, AMV International Development, S.A. considered Pelco by Schneider Electric video surveillance systems, for the quality and reliability needed for this mission-critical installation.

The new prison “La Gran Joya”, was opened on April 1, 2014, and it is estimated that normal operations will begin at the end of 2014 at which time the process of moving more than 5,500 inmates to the facility will begin as well.

According to Angel Maria Contreras Rey, Director of Special Projects for AMV,

“With a prison complex of this size, it is essential to have very reliable products and fully-integrated technologies for providing 24/7 operation 365 days a year...”

Additionally, the system needs to be flexible and scalable for on-going changes and expansion, and the system must be easy for the end-user to use. For all of this, we chose to work with Pelco video products.”

The “La Gran Joya” facility in Pacora, is comprised of 135 buildings spread over 37 acres. There are five detention sections, as well as an administration area and a trustee’s area. For a sense of the scale of the facility, there are 1,600 doors, all with access control and electromagnetic locks.

The video surveillance system incorporates a complete mix of nearly 900 fixed cameras, camera dome systems, enclosures, and PTZ dome systems. The cameras cover a wide range of scenes including complete perimeter security, exterior yards, roads, and walkways, all entries and exits; almost all internal areas, including inmate common areas, holding cells, cafeteria, infirmary and the like. All the video is fed to no less than 6 different control and storage rooms where the information is monitored analyzed and archived.

“Working with Pelco offers great advantages,” said Contreras. “Being a worldwide recognized brand generates a very high degree of confidence with the end user. The video quality is excellent, system reliability is very good, and we know the entire system is backed by the industry’s best training, service and support, should we need additional help.”

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