Manitoba has invested $754,000 for new body scanning technology for keeping drugs and contraband items out of Manitoba jails and they are now fully operational at correctional centres in Winnipeg, Brandon, and here in The Pas.
Justice Minster Cliff Cullen says illicit drugs and other contrabands present a significant risk to inmates and staff and this technology will keep contrabands out of the hands of inmates and act as a deterrent for those who plan to smuggle dangerous substances into these facilities.
The devices use very low x-ray doses to scan through the body to produce a skeletal image that can reveal foreign objects.Prior procedures to locate contraband items involved placing inmates suspected of having ingested or inserted such items in cells with no plumbing called dry cells and less than 10 percent of dry cell cases resulted in contraband recovery.
In 2017 and 2018 the province used almost 11,000 hours of staff time for dry cells at a cost of over $450,000. Minister Cullen says investing in this new technology is expected to generate savings of around $740,000 in three years.
Around 20 scanners are currently in use in three provinces and Saskatchewan recently purchased four scanners.