Local jail now using body scanners for inmates

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A local jail is looking to crack down on contraband with two brand new scanners.

The Warren County Regional Jail is now putting inmates through a body scanner as well as using a portable scanner to check bags, mattresses, clothing, and other items for contraband after the court approved the policy this morning.

The process took about eight months to purchase the scanners using canteen funds.

The Warren County Regional Jail is one of the last in the region to get a body scanner but one of the first to get a portable scanner.

The systems were both implemented last week, and every employee has been through training and a written test to use the scanners.

The Warren County jailer, Stephen Harmon, says he hopes their new tools will protect inmates and deputies’ safety.

“We had 120 plus cases last year that involved drugs alone here inside the facility a lot of which made it into housing areas and were shared among other inmates. So, the potential for an overdosed death or complication medically to inmates that are introduced to these substances is high every day. This is just two more tools that we can use to fight against it,” said Harmon

The radiation is one concern about the body scanners, but Harmon says the scanner alerts the jail if one inmate has had the maximum amount of radiation allowed.

The level of radiation emitted from the scanner is so small though, the likelihood of reaching that limit is very low, actually equal to that of two and a half bananas.

The Simpson County jailer, Eric Vaughn, says they have had a body scanner for a while now, and the scanner has been extremely useful.

“You can see inside the body. If they have something inserted, it will detect that right off the bat,” said Vaughn.

The jailer has the right to require anyone entering the secure portion of the jail to go through the body scanner and says he will do so at his discretion.