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Whether it’s illicit drugs, cigarettes, cellphones or other prohibited items, contraband among prisoners nationwide remains a consistent test for correctional officers. It’s an ongoing fight for legislation enforcement officials, who have actually to address inmates make headlines because that possessing contraband. One notable example requires an inmate in Atlanta who referred to as himself “a motivational speaker for gangsters” in a video clip he post online making use of a contraband cellphone while quiet in prison.

You are watching: How to prevent contraband in prisons

Weapons and also drugs have the right to pose a danger to the lives of both inmates and correctional officers. Drugs develop power struggles and disorder and pose the threat of harmful exposure and potential overdose. Fentanyl, a man-made opioid, is therefore potent that it can reason respiratory failure once trace quantities of it end up being airborne. Often used come lace other narcotics, fentanyl is leading to life threaten overdoses in ~ inmate populations and also for unsuspecting correctional policemans when they space exposed come the narcotic.

Communication devices can additionally wreak every kinds the havoc. Because that instance, cellphones smuggled right into prisons deserve to be provided to plot murders, escapes and other criminal activities. Follow to the nationwide Institute the Justice, wardens and also correctional officials spend countless dollars on steel detectors come curb the widespread usage of contraband. In comparison, body scanners have the right to be a cost-effective equipment to intercepting contraband. As an additional layer to the screening process, human body scanners have the right to offer infrastructure another method to find metallic objects as well as contraband that metal detectors space unable to detect, such together narcotics and also nonmetallic objects.

Somerset county Jail in Madison, Maine, has about 70 officers and a volume to hold around 234 inmates. Leaders there discovered contraband to it is in the scourge the the facility before they startedto usage a body scanner to screen inmates.


The deterrent result is for sure extraordinary, and also this has been an extreme time and also cost savings because that us due to the fact that we execute not need to initiate consistent watches anymore.
— Cory Swope, jail administrator
THE CHALLENGE
MANAGING THE MYRIAD problems CAUSED by CONTRABAND
because that years, Sheriff Dale Lancaster and also jail administrator significant Cory Swope tried to decrease the quantity of contraband beginning the facility.

“Contraband do serious difficulties for us, such as inmate drug overdoses, inmates manipulating the jail environment and inmates harming various other inmates and officers, just to name a few of the issues,” claimed Lancaster, that was elected sheriff in 2015.

At Somerset county Jail, there to be instances in i beg your pardon correctional staff unexpectedly had to address inmates with weapons or inmates that were under the influence. This brought about correctional officers having actually to academy a labor-intensive “one-on-one” continuous watch plan in i beg your pardon correctional officers would have to monitor individual inmates doubt of having actually contraband until they were cleared.

In one instance, a consistent watch duration lasted 10 days. That led to plenty of hours of overtime, i m sorry strained the correctional staff and cost the facility an ext than $10,000 in overtime pay for that solitary case. Top top average, these constant monitoring initiatives price the basic $3,000 to $4,000 in overtime.

“We instituted a ‘no physical contact’ visitation plan after incidents like this where contraband would obtain in, but people were still happen in drugs through the mail and through the intake and booking process, and we essential a thorough detector that would certainly curtail this risks,” said Swope.


With officers searching cell every day because that contraband, Swope and Lancaster were keenly aware of the problem and the stress, overload on jail staff, and also they took procedures to resolve the issue.

After eight come ten month of planning, a grant created a home window of opportunity for Somerset ar Jail. That the many body scanners on the market, what captured the officials’ attention was in the Smiths Detection B-SCAN. Both Lancaster and also Swope viewed the B-SCAN as a promising equipment the fight versus contraband.

“The high quality of the imaging was much superior to any type of other solution we looked at,” claimed Swope. “When it pertains to detecting contraband, it’s not just about the scan, that the top quality of the imaging you depend on to do the contact of whether there’s something doubt or the end of the ordinary.”

Somerset county Jail enlisted the help of accessibility Control Systems, Inc. (ACS), an authorized channel companion of Smiths Detection based in Milford, NH come facilitate the purchase of the B-SCAN. ACS to be able to aid guide the jail’s administrative staff in system specifications, surroundings of the unit, employee training, and also will company the mechanism going forward. Charlie Patterson, chairman of ACS said, “We are pleased to have been able to play a together a pivotal role in Somerset county Jail‘s purchase of a body scanner as we have with so plenty of others across the higher Northeastern US. We recognize from our experiences that this modern technology greatly to reduce the instances the contraband and also makes the facility much safer for staff, inmates, and visitors. And it pays because that itself in overtime and also overall operational price savings”

Before the B-SCAN body scanner to be purchased, officials at the Somerset county Jail relied ~ above pat-down searches to find for contraband – and also sometimes also strip searches once deemed absolutely necessary.

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“But then again, the doesn’t screen for what’s inside the inmates’ bodies,” claimed Lancaster, “and you will do be surprised through what you’d discover in the most unexpected components of the body.”

Now all inmates go through the body scanner, which uses a low dose the X-rays to display screen each individual.