Jail body scanner deemed a success in Cowlitz County

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Jail officials in Cowlitz County say a new body scanner has helped reduce the amount of contraband smuggled into the lockup.

The Daily News reports that the dual-view body scanner was first installed at the jail in September. It cost the county roughly $237,000 and is the only scanner of its kind deployed in Washington county jails.

Corrections Director Marin Fox Hight says contraband is usually smuggled into the jail though an inmate’s body orifices or the digestive system. So far, the scanner has helped detect heroin swallowed by an inmate and pills stuffed in a tampon.

According to Fox Hight, inmates are asked to give up the item if the scanner detects something suspicious. Inmates who refuse are sent to a hospital where they are monitored until they can clear the body scan.