Full-Body Scanner for Jail Will be Operational in August

LISBON, OHIO — The full-body scanner ordered for the county jail should arrive by the end of the month and be operational in early August.

County Commissioner Mike Halleck said they agreed to purchase the scanner from OD Security for $118,750, with the money coming from $250,000 set aside for the county in the state capital budget earlier in the year.

Commissioners were originally going to purchase a scanner for $212,000 from another vendor until they learned a body scanner had just been purchased for the Mahoning County jail from OD Security for considerably less. “I went up there (with our sheriff) and looked at their scanner and we were very pleased with how it worked,” he said.

Halleck said they contacted OD and were able to negotiate a fair price for the scanner they need.

The scanner is expected to help prevent much of the contraband, mostly drugs and drug paraphernalia, that is being smuggled into the jail in the body cavities of inmates. Searching body cavities is almost legally impossible, so jail staff instead requires inmates to squat and cough in the hopes that will eject whatever contraband is hidden inside.

If that does not work, the inmate suspected of smuggling contraband into the jail is placed in what is called a “dry cell,” which is a cell with a toilet that can only be flushed by jail staff. Inmates are placed in the dry cell until they go to the bathroom and pass the contraband. Inmates who do not usually become ill and have to be taken to the hospital.

Smuggled heroin is suspected of causing three inmates to overdose within seconds of each other in October 2016.

Commissioners received permission to spend the remaining state funding on a new camera system for the jail, which they intend to purchase from Johnson Controls. Halleck expects the remaining $131,250 should be enough to cover the cost.

“That camera system should solve a lot of the problems at the jail,” he said.

By: Tom Giambroni

Published: July 16, 2018


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