An automated telephone call system will warn people living near Indiana prisons of escapes and riots, reports the Indianapolis Star. Anyone can register free, not just those in the vicinity of a prison. The phone number registered will be called if prison officials decide an incident justifies a public alert. Calls will continue for 12 hours after an alert, until the automated system gets confirmation that the call has been received.
State corrections officials plan to go door to door in neighborhoods near prisons to let people know about the phone system. The alert system is an offshoot of a service that notifies people of an inmate’s status and tells police when an offender is due to be released to their area. It is operated by Appriss, a communications company in Louisville, Ky., that operates a similar system for the Kentucky state prison system. “The few times they’ve had to use it, it works very well,” said a company manager. “It does a good job of showing you care about the community.”