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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228219 Find in a Library
Title: NIJ Tests New Technologies
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:4  Dated:Autumn 2009  Pages:88-89
Author(s): Jack Harne; Frances Scott
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 2
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) testing of corrections technology that uses “airport” scanners in a prison, a handheld device that can detect contraband that ranges from plastic knives to cell phones, and the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track prisoners.
Abstract: An NIJ-sponsored pilot program used a millimeter wave imaging system to scan visitors at the Graterford State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. This system can detect cell phones, weapons, and nonmetallic objects hidden beneath clothing. The Transportation Security Administration uses this system to scan passengers at airports. The system tested at Graterford detected some cell phones, but its greatest strength was deterrence. In order to address privacy concerns and increase public acceptance, prison officials used a privacy screen that obscured the most explicit view, but still signaled when detecting a hidden object under someone’s clothing. The system does not detect contraband hidden in body cavities. NIJ also sponsored the development of a new handheld device that can detect contraband. Called the WANDD (weapons and nonpermitted devices detector), the system is integrated into an existing handheld metal detector in order to scan fully clothed prisoners or visitors for the purpose of detecting contraband hidden under their clothing. It differs from portal systems only in its portability. The RFID technology uses small transponders called “tags” to track movements of persons and items to which the tags are attached. The tags can be incorporated into devices such as wristbands. The tags can be used with a network of sensors called readers in order to track movements of persons and items with the tags. The system can be used not only to track inmates, but also to alert staff to an unusual concentration of people in a particular area.
Main Term(s): Corrections internal security
Index Term(s): Concealed weapons detection; Drug detection; Electronic monitoring of offenders; Metal detection; Metal detection devices; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); Prison contraband; Testing and measurement
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