One of the biggest challenges that correctional facilities face is finding the safest and most efficient ways to prevent contraband like drugs and weapons from finding their way through the facility’s doors.
Body scanners have become a huge part of this control technique, as it makes screening faster, easier, and with a much lower need for physical contact with inmates.
Still, as full body scanners for corrections has become a standard, questions about its safety have arisen.
Fortunately, as full body scanning technology has advanced, safety levels have gone up.
Concern With Cumulative Levels of Radiation
The main concern that is brought up pertaining to frequent full body scanning is cumulative radiation levels and how much is too much radiation or enough to cause harm.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP, USA) provides recommendations and guidance on maximum dose limits for the general public, of which inmates, visitors, and staff at correctional facilities all classify, and how to prevent harmful overdosing.
NCRP guidelines state that doses of up to 1 mSv per year in non-medical settings are considered safe; anything beyond is not.
This can become a problem in instances where facilities are still using older, outdated scanning technology, as this forces the continued use of pat-downs and other physical screenings to keep exposure levels below the recommended maximum.
Goal Is Higher Definition With Lower Radiation Doses
Based on these considerations, one of the critical goals in the development of more advanced body scanners is to generate scans that have higher definition using lower doses of radiation.
Today, there are full body scanners for corrections that do just that.
This lower dose scanning technology that has entered the market over the past few years is not just safer for inmates and staff as far as radiation dosing is concerned, but it is also safer in how well it works.
Full body scanning using technology that can differentiate between body tissue and any other material, and do it quickly, reduce the need for physical searches and other contacts between staff and inmates.
Making Body Scanning for Contraband Detection Better
Overall, the newer generation of full body scanners for corrections is making the job of contraband detection in facilities a more efficient, humane, and respectful process.
With minuscule radiation doses that equate to as little as 1/1000th of the NCRP recommended annual dose and exceptional imaging capabilities, keeping correctional facilities safe from a variety of contraband has never been easier.
As more facilities reach the point of upgrading to these new, advanced body scanners, the industry as a whole will begin to appreciate greater safety for all persons and safer facilities as more contraband is stopped at the doors.