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Keeping an Eye on School Security: The Iris Recognition Project in New Jersey Schools

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 254 Dated: July 2006 Pages: 12-15
Date Published
July 2006
4 pages
Publication Series
This article discusses the results of an evaluative study conducted on a security system developed under a National Institute of Justice science and technology grant and adopted by three schools in New Jersey linking eye-scanning cameras with computers to identify people who had been preauthorized to enter the schools.
The iris recognition scanner, T-PASS, utilized in several schools in New Jersey for the most part worked. Of the more than 9,400 times someone attempted to enter the school using the iris scanners, there were no known false positives or other misidentifications. The system provided an accurate identification and unlocked the door 78 percent of the time. Both the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the New Egypt school officials concluded the iris recognition experiment showed promise. However, the biometrics technology, such as the iris scanner should be considered as only one possible element in a school's overall safety plan. Because access control technologies, such as the iris scanner are really targeted toward keeping out those who are not supposed to be in the building, the technologies' impact on school crime is limited. Outsiders constitute a small minority of the people who commit crimes in schools making the impact of these technologies difficult to detect. The iris recognition scanner is a security system that links eye-scanning cameras with computers to identify people. This security system was adopted by three schools in New Egypt, NJ under a science and technology grant from the NIJ. NIJ also funded an evaluation of the technology project. The New Egypt system, named T-PASS (Teacher-Parent Authorization Security System), identifies people using cameras that focus on 240 separate points on their irises. The intent of the iris recognition technology is that of a security measure for schools in the United States. This article briefly describes the results of the evaluative study.

Date Published: July 1, 2006