St. Joe Co. Jail unveils full-body scanner to search inmates

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – The St. Joseph County Jail has begun to incorporate the Intercept Scanner, a full-body contraband detection system designed to improve security at the jail.

Jail officials unveiled the scanner Tuesday morning after it was installed Jan. 28 in the jail's booking area, which is where inmates are first processed.

In addition to detecting metal like a standard scanner, the Intercept Scanner can find other types of contraband, like illegal or prescription drugs inmates may have on their persons.

In all, it can be used to detect metallic, nonmetallic, organic and inorganic contraband, and it can do so in a less intrusive manner than a strip search – a process that can take 15 minutes, while a scan can take just 4 seconds.

"Sometimes, things do get past all of those internal checks, and this is one final step that will help catch anything that may be missed by an arresting officer or corrections officer with inside the jail," St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman said.

For more details on the new system, the release from the St. Joseph County Police Department has been reproduced below:

In a move to improve security for both inmates and corrections officers, the St. Joseph County Jail unveiled a new state of the art full-body contraband detection system called the Intercept Scanner.

The St. Joseph County Jail is the first county jail in Indiana to have the most recent generation of whole body security contraband detection systems installed.

The Intercept Scanner made its debut at the jail on Tuesday morning. It is developed, engineered, assembled and manufactured by Tek84 Engineering, located in San Diego, CA and was installed during the week of January 28, 2019 in the jail's Booking Area where detainees are first processed.

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office is deploying the high-tech body scanner, saying that it will detect contraband coming into and circulating in the jail.

The scanner will ensure deputies can safely and easily find weapons like guns and knives as well as other contraband such as cell phones and illegal and prescription drugs that inmates might be carrying. The Intercept Scanner will detect all metallic, non-metallic, organic or inorganic contraband.
This scanner is a new technology that not only improves safety for officers and inmates alike; it saves money by making the search process far more efficient.

The scanner is much less intrusive than the comparable strip search procedure being used by most jails today. A strip search typically takes 15 minutes, compared to a scan, which is about 4 seconds.

The scanner is being used on all inmates housed in the jail.
The importance of an effective and thorough search cannot be stressed enough. In a potentially volatile environment like the jail, an unarmed deputy must rely on stringent security and search procedures to ensure a secure and safe environment for both the inmates and staff.

The Intercept Scanner is a virtual body scan that allows detection of contraband both externally and internally without requiring the inmate to disrobe.

The scanner will also detect contraband in shoes, mattresses, body orifices and any other object.

The SJCS system is unlike the current scanners deployed by the federal government at airports around the country that utilize surface rendering technology.

Airport scanning machines only detect contraband concealed under clothing, while the SJCS scanner can identify anything concealed under clothing or inside a person’s body cavity.

Also unlike airport scanners, SJCS’s scanner ensures that the inmate’s privacy is protected because it does not show a person’s anatomical outline or facial features.

This is leading edge technology for contraband detection because you can’t hide anything from it.

One by one inmates step forward into the imaging portal. One of the unique features of the Intercept Scanner is that the inmates and arrestees do not move making it safer for the person being scanned

An image is created and processed onto a large computer screen, where it is reviewed and analyzed by a deputy who has been trained and certified to operate the Intercept Scanner.

Each scan involves a very highly filtered imaging beam that is well below federal guidelines. The manufacturers likened the imaging procedure to about 3 minutes during a commercial flight.

An inmate would have to be imaged 400 times on the Intercept Scanner to equal one digital chest X-ray.