Williams County Correctional Center install inmate X-ray scanner

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 4:58 PM CST
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A full-body X-ray scanner is now in use at the Williams County Correctional Center, making the faculty the second in the state to install this technology.

Law enforcement officials say inmates have successfully smuggled items into the jail in the past, and deputies want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The $150,000 machine is being used to detect weapons, cellphones and drugs. Those items are the most coming things inmates have been caught trying to smuggle into jail.

Lt. Jeremy Mohl, Williams County Corrections, said, "If something is in a body cavity for instance, we can't catch that in a search. We can't find that either unclothed search or pat-downs. This machine adds that extra level of security that allows us to see inside those spaces without violating a person's privacy."

Since getting the machine about a month ago, deputies haven't found anything they wouldn't find during a regular search, "but it's only a matter of time before somebody tries to smuggle something into the jail. It's the world of corrections. It happens all the time," added Mohl.

The correctional center's average general population is a lot larger than it was several years ago, so staff needs to stay ahead of the game.

Deputies not only use the X-ray machine to scan humans, but also objects. Suspicious mattresses and clothing can be searched, and in testing, they’ve located items as small as a single M&M.