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28 December 1998 X-ray BodySearch eliminates strip search in Montana prison
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Proceedings Volume 3575, Enforcement and Security Technologies; (1998)
Event: Enabling Technologies for Law Enforcement and Security, 1998, Boston, MA, United States
Work release details at prisons have been a continuing source of inspection problems for prison wardens. At the Montana State Prison in deer Lodge 400 prisoners leave the prison in the morning to work outside the walls. They return at lunch and again in the evening. Past practice has been to do a 100% pat search and selective strip searches. These procedures are an irritant to both prisoners and prison personnel involved. However, they were felt to be essential based on the quantity of contraband materials being brought into the prison by these work release inmates. BodySearch is an x-ray scanning system which uses backscatter x-ray to form an image of prisoners as they stand next to the system. Typically prisoners are scanned two at a time, with one scan being taken from the back and the second from the front. Although privacy was considered to be an issue, the prisoners have been relived not to have to go through full pat searches and periodic strip searches. The automatic equipment has also sped up the inspection process and eliminated some of the waiting lines. The problem was so bad that one warden was contemplating having all prisoners issued two sets of clothing (a several hundred thousand dollar investment), which they would change on the way in and out of the prison facility. The new system has all but eliminated any attempt by prisoners to smuggle contraband into the prison by concealing it on their person as they return from work detail. Operationally, a pencil beam is generated by a rotating chopper, which scans horizontally as it is moved vertically. Scintillator detectors mounted adjacent and parallel to the direction of the scanning beam collect the scattered radiation. The result is a photo-like image of the body surface facing the system. The use of a scanning pencil beam in a backscatter geometry with a 140 kV x-ray source eliminates any issue of radiation safety. In fact, the dose delivered by the system (under 10 micro rem for a two-scan inspection) is less than 1% of the dose a person standing outside at sea level receives from background radiation in a day.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David S. de Moulpied, Peter J. Rothschild, and Gerald J. Smith "X-ray BodySearch eliminates strip search in Montana prison", Proc. SPIE 3575, Enforcement and Security Technologies, (28 December 1998);

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