Full-body scanner implemented at Alachua County jail


ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – Starting Monday at the Alachua County jail, it will take seven seconds to locate illegal contraband on an inmate.

Thanks to the implementation of a new device in place at the jail, inmates will now be screened using a full-body scanner from Secure Pass. The scanner is similar to devices being used in airports across the world.

The machine is located in the booking area of the jail, where staff will scan each inmate as they are booked in.

The scan only takes seven seconds and will allow trained staff the ability to see a digital image on a screen as soon as the inmate passes through on a moving platform. The scanner can easily detect weapons, phones, handcuff keys, and other contraband such as drugs.

Traditional strip searches require additional staff and can take up to 15 minutes, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

During initial training, a handcuff key was located inside the body cavity of an inmate at the Alachua County jail, an object that may have gone undetected without the use of this technology, deputies said.

Many jails have adopted the technology and have already seen the benefits. The machine costs about $200,000 and has been funded by many facilities through drug forfeiture funds or by elimination of positions through lap salaries.

"We are committed to providing a safe environment for employees at the jail and want criminals to know that the Alachua County jail is not where you want to try to smuggle contraband," Sheriff Sadie Darnell said in a news release.