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New York prisons to use more body scanning devices

May 05, 2023 1:03 am

Raga Justin reports in the Times Union that the state budget that passed this week includes expansion of the use of body scanning devices in New York's correctional facilities. State employees working at correctional facilities, inmates, and anyone who is visiting an inmate could be subject to body scanning under the new rules. The story reports that prison and jail staff members say there is an increase in contraband and violence in the facilities. The body scanning is meant to replace body cavity searches. The state has authorized body scanning technology in correctional facilities since at least 2018, the story says. Right now an estimated 15 jurisdictions have the technology. The scanners use “ionizing radiation” in low doses, according to state regulations. But the National Cancer Institute says that this type of radiation, even in small doses, has been linked to higher risks of cancer. The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association union is in favor of the new rules. Union President Michael Powers said, “The safety and well-being of everyone who works or resides in a New York state prison is NYSCOPBA’s top priority.... Utilizing enhanced security measures like this ... will assist us in our efforts to reduce dangerous contraband from entering our facilities and in turn reduce violence.” Read more about this story in the Times Union