The eyes have it: Henry sheriff using new system to book inmates

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is using a new system to book its inmates.

The department has been using an eye-scanning system known as the Inmate Recognition and Identification System - IRIS - for about two months. During that time, 2,024 inmates have been processed into the jail, according to Capt. Bobby Sloan, assistant jail commander.

Here’s how it works: the person looks into the system’s camera which captures details in the pupil of the person’s eye. Like fingerprints, the iris is a distinguishing feature for each person. The system is expected to be even more helpful, especially when processing someone who may not have fingerprints due to work or chemical injuries, Sloan said. Inmates are scanned when they come into the jail and when they leave.

“It’s done what it’s intended to do,” Sloan said. “They’re scanned when they come to jail and they’re scanned when they get out. Other methods (previously used) were arm bands and basic questions.”

Law enforcement in other states have used the eye-scanning system but it is not in wide use in Georgia, according to Sloan.

“The city of Atlanta uses the system (but) we’re the first sheriff’s office in Georgia to use the system,” Sloan said.