Sheriffs who operate jails are eligible to apply for assistance from $700M in funding to detect and mitigate COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the Department of Justice, is providing a total of $700M nationally in funding to detect and mitigate COVID-19 in jails and prisons. The funds have been allocated to states based on the states’ incarcerated population divided by the national incarcerated population.
Sheriffs who operate jails and other “confinement facilities,” e.g. juvenile and community confinement centers, will be eligible to apply for assistance from their respective state boards of health.
According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), state sheriffs’ associations would be “ideal” recipients for statewide funding on behalf of participating sheriffs in their respective states. This approach can streamline the application, funding, and reporting process for sheriffs.
The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) has partnered with two of its strategic partners - BI2 Technologies and Watch Systems - to create IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ to detect and mitigate COVID-19. With guidance from the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, and in conjunction with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the NSA is in the process of implementing IRIS Med-Verify Plus™. It’s a comprehensive solution that solves critical public safety and public health problems related to highly communicable diseases, such as COVID-19 and its variants.
IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ is an integrated, comprehensive technology solution designed to help sheriffs effectively and efficiently detect and mitigate COVID-19 and its variants (and other communicable diseases now and in the future) in jails and other secure confinement facilities. It improves the safety and health of staff, individuals in custody, visitors, and the public.
The IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ solution is based on proven and widely used technologies. Sheriffs across the nation have relied on these companies’ proven, cost-effective, and innovative technology solutions, Offender Watch® and I.R.I.S.™, for more than 15 years to help them better protect the citizens of their counties, their staff, and the individuals in their custody. IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ is based on these solutions. Both companies and their leadership are well-known and highly respected by the nation’s sheriffs for their commitment to the Office of Sheriff and their innovative technologies.
IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ is eligible for funding for state sheriffs’ associations on behalf of sheriffs who want this innovative technology and comprehensive solution or individual sheriff’s offices.
How IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ Works
BI2 Technologies’ I.R.I.S.™ system is integrated with the jail’s existing Jail Management System (JMS) and medical/healthcare system (electronic or paper-based) to virtually eliminate duplicate data entry and introduction of errors. The sheriff’s national, real-time I.R.I.S.™ biometric identification system is used at Intake/Booking to quickly capture a digital photograph of the unique features in the individual’s irises (the colored part around the pupil). This biometric data is used to search and determine the true identity and prior criminal activity of the individual in custody by comparing it, in seconds, to the sheriff’s national I.R.I.S.™ database securely maintained at Nlets. If no match is found, a new record is created, and the individual is enrolled in the sheriff’s I.R.I.S.™ system.
The individual’s I.R.I.S.™ record is then integrated with limited and select data (100% HIPAA compliant) from the individual’s medical/healthcare record. Data from the jail’s JMS and medical/healthcare systems is combined with the iris biometric identification information to create the IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ record.
The encrypted data in the IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ record is used to efficiently capture, store, track, monitor, manage, and securely share critically needed healthcare and criminal justice information about an individual while in custody, when moved to another facility, or when released back into the community.
Offender Watch’s unique and powerful alerts and geo-based mapping technologies are integrated with IRIS Med-Verify Plus™, which automatically and securely informs and provides real-time updates to the sheriff’s office, state and local public health officials, and other local and state law enforcement and public safety officials.
In addition, regularly scheduled (based on the sheriff’s request) dashboard reports are automatically provided to command and other staff.
For more information about IRIS Med-Verify Plus™ (and to request a demonstration), and to learn how you can apply for funding for your sheriff’s office, please contact your state sheriffs’ association or: