Every person incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail will now be required to be scanned with the sheriff’s new full body X-ray screening system.
“It’s sad, but increasingly it seems inmates are overdosing in the county jails, and it’s not just our county jail, but it’s throughout this entire country,” Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said. “Inmates that are addicts take desperate measures. Drugs are what is important to them. They’ll hide them anywhere they possibly can.
Donini said, back in July, the Richland County Jail had five females overdose in one night which resulted in all five being taken to a hospital.
Donini said every inmate that is booked in and every inmate who goes to court, prison, or on a hospital visit, and returns will go through the full body scan.
The Scioto County Sheriffs Office is the fifth County Jail in Ohio to purchase and implement the SecurPass Security Scanning System. The price of the system was $211,998.95. It was paid in full through funds that were generated through the inmates telephone system and their commissary account.
“We get a commission on all the commissary sales and we get a commission on all the telephone revenues,” Donini said. “Those commissions are deposited in the Inmate Improvement Account. The only thing you can use that money for is for the well-being of the inmates.”
The RadPRO® SecurPASS® Full Body Security Screening System is designed to handle the high-level security needs of prisons, border crossings, jails, and government facilities. Based on unique patented technology, this low-dose X-rav screening system detects many types of illegal substances and weapons, both internally and on the body of inmates. Currently the only other county jails in Ohio using the system are Hamilton, Cuyahoga, Stark and Medina counties.
“It’s just another extra piece of work that we have to do to turn the booking process, but I think it’s something that we need to do,” Donini said.
Donini said, with the heroin epidemic and drug addiction within communities throughout this entire country, county jails are finding themselves more and more challenged with preventing drug addicted individuals from smuggling drugs into their jails.
“Inmates, especially those who know they are going to be incarcerated for long periods of time will often hide heroin and other drugs within their body cavities where they are normally undetectable by arresting officers and booking officers,” Donini said. “It sounds incredible but it happens.”
Sheriff Donini states all employees working within the Scioto County Jail along with narcotics officers have received the SecurPASS Basic Radiation Safety & Security Scanning Technology Training certification from Virtual Imaging Company. Sheriff Donini states that the Sheriff Office was also required to register the Security Screening System with the Ohio Department of Health.
“I was hesitant about it because you’re talking about radiation,” Donini said. “But what’s unique about this system is the fact that it’s a special patent. It’s a low dose of radiation in order for us to accomplish what we need to accomplish.”
Donini said the equipment has passed the Ohio Department of Health registration.
“We would have to scan these people 400 times to get the same dose you would get from an X-ray at a hospital,” Donini said.
He said the purchase was made from the Federal Bid Schedule which allowed them to bypass the competitive bidding process. The RadPRO® SecurPASS® Full Body Security Screening System was purchased from Integrio Technologies, a Virginia based company. Sheriff Donini notes,
“absolutely no tax payer dollars were used,” Donini said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
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