Local Correctional and Detention Centers Implement “Revolutionary” Technology



PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) – Two new body scanners were put into operation this year at Parkersburg Correctional Center and its detention center in Wood County.

Officials call the technology “revolutionary”.

It is a scanner that uses X-ray technology capable of seeing the contraband hidden inside the body.

Bureau of Community Corrections COO, Patrick Mirandy, said: “It is a game-changer by keeping people alive more than anything because it makes facilities much safer …”

The scanner can now capture what traditional detection systems such as metal detectors, feelers and even canines cannot.

“This allows us to make sure that anyone we bring into our facility doesn’t bring any kind of drugs or contraband, which could be weapons – could be anything,” Mirandy said.

This body scanner has been in use in the United States for about seven years, according to Steve Caudill, director of security at DCR. He calls its impact “immeasurable”.

“I mean, there is no doubt in my mind that this technology that you know has saved not only the lives of inmates but also the protection of our staff,” he said.

Fewer drugs in correctional facilities mean less risk of overdose and fewer staff have to deal with inmates under the influence.

While the black market for drugs in correctional-type facilities can be appealing, it is hoped that knowledge of this technology will deter people from bringing anything in the first place.

Mirandy said, “Depending on where you are in certain prisons – West Virginia is primarily a smoke-free environment – even tobacco would get you around $ 200 a pack.”

Mirandy said even a case of drugs entering a facility is significant because of the dire consequences. For example, if inmates swallow drugs, the bags could burst inside, causing a medical emergency.

Law enforcement must remain vigilant with people who smuggle drugs into correctional-type facilities.

Caudill said: “You know some of the creativity that people come up with to smuggle drugs and contraband – it’s kind of mind blowing. It’s just – when you think you’ve seen it all, something else is going to happen and you’re like fine, I didn’t think they could do that but they do.

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