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Case Study – Video surveillance in prisons

iCetana recently completed a Proof of Concept (PoC) for a minimum security Prison. For the purpose of this PoC, we installed iCetana on 32 cameras. The PoC ran for a total of 6 weeks. The first 14 days was used to learn the normal events and activities on these cameras within the prison. This established a baseline of normal activity for each camera so that iCetana could learn the normal daily and weekly patterns.


During the next 21 days the iCetana solution identified all abnormal events and activities from the surveillance camera feeds. iCetana automatically saved this footage for later review. Although unusual events were displayed on the LiveWall, this was not used during the trial. On the completion of the PoC, iCetana reviewed the abnormal activities and events that were captured over the first 4 days on the trial cameras. A number of events of interest were identified. These highlight the value and capability of the solution.


The following table summarises video clips of some notable events captured from the PoC.



Assault or play fighting


  • Minor scuffle / play fighting in open area
  • Fighting near upper balcony

Hiding object of interest


  • Places an object in a hidden location on top of a fire reel
  • Moves a TV and hides a small object behind it

Prohibited item


  • Rope in the custody of a prisoner

Damage to property


  • Uses pool cue to damage recreation room

Throwing of objects


  • At night time, prisoner out of his cell throws small objects against an upper level cell window to attract attention

Visitor suspicious behaviour


  • Visitor potentially passing contraband to a prisoner through physical contact

Smoke detection


  • Smoke in the prison bakery

Contractor taking a ladder into and out of prison


  • Contractor taking a ladder into the prison
  • Contractor replacing ladder into his ute

Suspicious activity


  • Cloth bag passed through bars at night
  • Prison officer climbing onto plastic crates in truck drop off area
  • Prisoner catches item dropped to him from the upper level in his shirt
  • Person moving outside of his cell at night time
  • Person receiving mobile phone to make a call from prison

Investigate item left and removed


  • A small item is left on a table
  • A small item is retrieved from the table

Bag pick up from another cell


  • Picking up a bag from another cell at night

Crowd gathering


  • Dispersal of prisoners after a meeting

Prison cell break in


  • Climbing from the balcony into an upper level cell window
  • Two prisoners boosting a third smaller person through an upper level cell window


The staff at the Prison have assessed and actioned all of these events in accordance with their standard operating procedures.  In summary, the PoC identified a number of unusual events in the four days of iCetana filtered footage. These events would not have been picked up through normal video surveillance as there are not enough staff resources to continually review all cameras in the prison. The events demonstrate the value of the iCetana solution in prisons.

Next Step

Transform your organisation by implementing AI in your video surveillance network. Contact iCetana on for a confidential discussion on how you can benefit from the iCetana Starter.

iCetana Starter

iCetana Starter is an innovation in AI that allows your organisation to start using iCetana onsite with your own cameras.  iCetana Starter is a turn-key solution that includes:

  • Pre-configured server shipped to your site (either a NUC mini-server, or full server)
  • Full iCetana version license counts (license counts depend on selected package)
  • Installation and training
  • First year maintenance (annual license fee is payable after the first year).

iCetana Starter protects your investment and can be readily scaled up to a larger deployment when you want to monitor more cameras.

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