Body Scanners Introduced on Rikers Island

July 26, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
A traveler is screened by a body scanner at the security checkpoint in an airport. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A traveler is screened by a body scanner at the security checkpoint in an airport. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

NEW YORK—Officials on Rikers Island, the city’s major jail complex, have begun using body scanners to locate weapons that inmates may try to sneak past guards, according to NY1.

Six SecurPASS machines, which can see inside a person’s body, much like an x-ray machine, have been installed in the city’s jails in an effort to reduce violent crimes.

With around 12,000 inmates, only high-risk inmates are regularly scanned. Visitors who are frequently the source of weapons for inmates are also scanned. Supervising warden Robert Cripps told NY1 that 170 visitors have been arrested this year trying to bring in contraband. Nearly 50 medical scalpels enclosed in electrical tape, a new popular weapon, have been found on inmates since January.

“(We’ve had) a few incidents where scalpel blades have been used in either slashings or stabbings,” Cripps said, according to NY1. “This was primarily used to detect that type of weapon,” he added.

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