2/3/15 – 1:51 A.M.
The Hancock County Jail is getting a new piece of security equipment. The county commissioners approved buying a full body scanner to install at the facility. Commissioner Phil Riegle says there are a variety of uses for the scanner. The new equipment will allow jail employees to process inmates quicker as they come back from work release, programs or court hearings.
Jail Administrator Lt. Ryan Kidwell said the jail offers programs for inmates in an attempt to help them become a more productive citizen upon release. However, some inmates chose not to attend programs because of the strip search process involved.
Audio: Ryan Kidwell
The ADAMHS Board is also in favor of the scanner. The organization holds meetings for inmates on the first floor of the sheriff’s office, but getting inmates to attend can require a strip search. The hope is that a less invasive screening will lead to more inmates taking classes.
The scanner will cost $21,000. Commissioner Brian Robertson says the county is getting the machine through federal surplus. The Rapiscan Secure 1000SP Security Scanner cost 10 times that amount when bought new. The body scanners had been used in airports, but it was determined they revealed a little too much.
Every time inmates leave the jail and the protection of the staff they are scanned. Some of those instances include going to programs, attending court or doctor’s appointments.
Kidwell said the new scanner will hopefully be less traumatic and encourage more involvement in programs. The new search process will also be quicker, with one officer of same sex monitoring the scanner as inmates walk through fully clothed. Kidwell said this will be less invasive and still keep the facility safe and secure.
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