NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Correction has begun the process of installing new body scanners at state facilities to help fight the introduction of contraband. Through provided images, the scanners will assist security staff in identifying contraband being smuggled inside or on a person’s body.
The new technology will supplement TDOC’s current security procedures for individuals entering a facility. Currently, everyone entering a TDOC facility is required to remove outerwear and shoes, pass through a metal detector, and submit to a wand or pat search prior to entry. All items must be placed on a conveyor belt that passes through an x-ray machine, and all items being brought into a facility must be stored in a clear container.
“Like most states and correctional facilities, Tennessee is in a constant battle against illegal contraband,” said Commissioner Tony Parker. “This new technology will give our staff the ability to look at an image to determine whether someone is attempting to introduce a prohibited item inside our facilities.” Commissioner Parker also hopes the new body scanners will act as deterrents for individuals considering bringing contraband into a facility.
“Having drugs, cell phones, weapons – anything that is not distinctly allowed inside our prisons, creates an unsafe environment for everyone inside, and interferes greatly with the rehabilitation of our offenders. We have zero tolerance for anyone attempting to introduce contraband into a correctional facility and we will seek to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” continued Parker.
Staff, volunteers, and visitors should expect scanners to be functioning at all TDOC facilities statewide by the end of the year.