View Full Version : Ion Test


Wantin2BHis
06-01-2006, 12:58 PM
I am planning to visit Terre Haute USP in July~ i hear bad things about the ION test they give. that they have false positives. Can anyone give me tips on things to do to ensure if I'm one that gets tested i get an accurate result? I dont don't do drugs and i'm gonna be going along way for this visit.

Zelda50
06-01-2006, 03:25 PM
If you do a "search this thread" - look above and put in Ion or Ionscan, you will get some threads with lots of information about this technology and tips to avoid false positives. Main things are to avoid recently dry-cleaned clothing because of the dry-cleaning chemicals - and to avoid lotions or perfumes on hands and arms. Some folks say to avoid pumping your own gas on the way to visiting. Don't take prescription medications which might test positive for amphetamines or opiates (allergy meds, codeine, vicadin - stuff like that) prior to the visit. And, of course, don't handle illicit drugs, to avoid a true positive! If there is a positive result on the test, you have the right to ask for a second confirmatory test. If that happens, just watch and make sure they change the filter and their gloves before the 2nd test. Good luck. Zelda

kintml2u
06-02-2006, 05:18 AM
If that happens, just watch and make sure they change the filter and their gloves before the 2nd test

If they don't do this...should one request the Warden or someone higher up to come down? Or refuse to take the test until this is done? What are our rights...if any?

Wantin2BHis
06-02-2006, 05:33 PM
Good question. What are the chances of getting a false positive? And is it random testing or is everyone checked?

TIA4TWO
06-02-2006, 05:44 PM
I would check the BOP website and look up the directive (I think that's what it's called) and you will see what the procedure is for the ION drug test. I would print it out and take it when you go to visit just in case you get a false-positive test result.

At least you'll be familiar with the what they are supposed to do as opposed to what they'll probably do.:)

LJ

Zelda50
06-04-2006, 01:15 PM
Even when they do the first test, I always say, very politely, "You changed the filter after the last one, right?" And so if I had a second test, I would politely say, "You're changing your gloves too, right?" And if they say no, then politely say, "But there could be cross-contamination from previous tests." Then if they still don't, I would take the test and if it was positive, ask to speak to the shift commander and then tell them about the non-changing of the gloves. That's about all you could do. As for the policy, it is now the policy that, if you have a positive test, you can have a second confirmatory test done. The changing of the filter and gloves is in the instruction manual from the manufacturer. Zelda

NicknBree
06-04-2006, 09:56 PM
I've been to the USP Terre Haute and been tested numerous times. Knock on wood....but I have never had a false positive. Now I have read the manual on this ION machine and the BOP policy regarding it. The CO handling admitting visitors is supposed to do random testing, however you can pick up a pattern in the way they test. Prior to admitting visitors they are supposed to pick a patter of testing visitors so they can't be accused of discriminating when testing. Last time I was there, the officer let two people through without being tested and tested the third person, then starting all over again. Let two go, test one, let two go, test one....etc. They are supposed to record secretly somewhere what their testing method is going to be for the day. Again, avoid touching money the morning of, no scents of any kind, no pumping gas after showering that morning, no medications. Other than that, hope and pray the machine acts right!!!! I watched a 5 year old boy have a false positive and started crying cause he couldn't see his Dad (whom he hadn't seen in 2 years!). His grandparents were fine though and passed the test. Crazy.

byig
06-05-2006, 09:12 PM
my son was at terre haute 6/04 to 6/05. on my very first visit, i was not allowed to visit because i "tested" positive for heroine (had a very disappointed grand-son to deal with on the trip home!).

my first visit after that, i packed freshly laundered clothes into a Hefty garbage bag, changed in the bathroom at the the check-in room at the prison and put my stuff in the locker there. they didn't like that much, so thereafter, i would pack freshly washed clothes in a bag, drive to terre haute, stop at the Hardees by the mall near the prison, and go in to change before arriving to visit. as soon as we got in to the check in room and had completed the paper work, i would go into the bathroom and wash my hands very well. be aware that they also scan your shoes. by doing the above, i had no problem with pumping gas, handling money, etc.

during the year i visited my son at terre haute, they switched from just a "wand" scan to a wand scan that has a vacumn atached to it!!

my husband is a cop, and even he says this machine is a joke.

my son is now at fci pekin. they have just recently begun doing random (unlike terre haute, where every visitor was tested) testing on visitors, but their "wand" is totally different, and they only swipe hands (front and back) & inside a pants pocket. so far, so good here.


GOOD LUCK, and God bless

Wantin2BHis
06-05-2006, 10:13 PM
Thanks.. the more i read the more nervous i get. i'm flying from Houston and can only stay the weekend so i gotta pray hard it doesn't mess up with me! I'm gonna decontaminate EVERYTHING and wear freashly washed gloves

TheGeneralsWife
06-06-2006, 02:27 PM
I saw a woman at USP Atwater test positive even though she came in with gloves on and was very careful about everything that she touched.

rottn
06-06-2006, 03:42 PM
The test at Terre Haute is done to every visitor. I was talking to a girl last Sunday that tested positive a few weeks ago. They did a second test the same day and it came back negative. They do the backs of the hands, tops of the shoulders, tops of the pockets, pant cuffs, and then turn you around and do it to the other side of you. I get my money here and take in bills instead of change. I also stop at McDonalds to wash my hands before going to the facility.

poni'swoman
06-06-2006, 04:44 PM
They have the wand at Pollock. I tested positive for heroin and positive again on the second test. I have never done drugs. Now when I visit I clean the hotel room, the rental car and anything else I think I might touch. I have about a barrel of Purell and use it right before they test me. Since I tested positive I now have to be tested every visit for a year. Not only do you have the disappointment of not being able to visit but you also have all the expense of the trip if there is traveling involved. The machines are just a bunch of junk and it seems no matter how many people complain they continue to use them. But they don't care, they aren't there to see their loved ones.

Wantin2BHis
06-06-2006, 05:06 PM
Does that Purell really work? Can you wipe it over your clothing where they test as well?

Do you know if there are any shampoos or laundry soap they may make you test positive?

NicknBree
06-06-2006, 07:24 PM
They do not always test every visitor at Terre Haute. Like I said, I saw two people go by without being tested and then they tested one person. I have been tested about 50 percent of the time that I have visited and since December '05 I have been 5 times to visit and each time went in at least two if not all three days.

Zelda50
06-07-2006, 12:31 AM
I will repeat - all those with complaints about the ionscan, write to Mr. Harley Lappin at the BOP Headquarters in Washington D.C. (address on the BOP website) The more people he hears from, the more confirmation he receives for when FedCURE meets with him about this issue! Explain in your letter how the false positives affect you and your family, your finances, and your relationships. Z.

TheGeneralsWife
06-07-2006, 11:45 AM
I wrote and never heard anything back. My daughter tested positive but they wouldn't tell me for what. Why are they so secretive about it? They wouldn't even show me the paper and she was only 4 years old. They let me do it to her the second time whn the commander came out but dang that are quite intrusive. I mean what if you were a sex abuse survivor, would you really want them touching you like that? I hate that stupid machine it makes me do things that no normal human being would do. I am walking around there like a nut case with OCD just so I might not accidently tounch anything.

Wantin2BHis
06-07-2006, 04:46 PM
LOL.. I am afraid that's how I am going to be at my visit. Not touching anything. I'm carrying purell hand cleaner and paper towels to open doors

TheGeneralsWife
06-08-2006, 10:53 AM
I even brought the bottle in and carried it around with me until they called my name. I was crazy about it for real.

Wantin2BHis
06-08-2006, 05:45 PM
They let you carry it in? Does it really work? Can I wipe it on my clothes too? ON everything? I am traveling 1050 miles to see him so I have to MAKE SURE i don't test positive. I dont do drugs, never around them but all the stories scare the crap out of me!!

Zelda50
06-08-2006, 06:19 PM
Regarding writing Mr. Lappin with ionscan complaints: You might not hear back but folks need to keep writing. The more letters and sad/mad stories he gets, the better. Z.

FrustratedGirl
06-11-2006, 09:06 AM
If you don't feel like sending a letter the traditional way you can contact Mr. Lappin here:

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/agencies/?id=4278&dir=congressorg&command=depresult2&submit.x=4&submit.y=15

I have no clue as to whether it is more or less effective than a traditional letter, but it saves some time and a stamp. It is a great site and allows you to get a feeling for the political climate around the country which as we know varies greatly from state to state.

kintml2u
06-12-2006, 06:26 PM
Regarding writing Mr. Lappin with ionscan complaints: You might not hear back but folks need to keep writing. The more letters and sad/mad stories he gets, the better. Z.


Z...I understand these letters should be directed to Mr Lappin. But would it have more of an affect if those who have problems also cc to their state reps? I know on all the letters I have wrote to my reps concerning BOP issues(none concerning the Ion, yet and hopefully never)...they normally forward them onto the BOP, who in turn responds to the rep...and forwards a letter back.

I'm sure this wouldn't make anyone happier...but if it helps with dealing with the problem head on instead of putting on the side burner...could the results be different in the long run?

Just thinking...

Zelda50
06-14-2006, 01:54 AM
I think it's great to send a copy to the Congressional representative too. People just need to be aware that, if they do that, the Congressional rep will usually forward it to the warden of that specific prison and that triggers the inmate being asked to sign a waiver so the warden can respond to the Congressional rep with a standard bullshit letter. So, in addition to Director Lappin learning of the complaint, there is attention brought to the individual inmate in that particular prison. I just think folks should be aware of that. Zelda

valliegirl60
02-26-2007, 09:05 AM
i went thru this very thing yesterday...if i had only read this before i went...i had no clue that perfume and body lotion could give me a "FALSE POSITIVE"..now they are gonna check me every single visit for drugs..the head man was very by the book type of man....told me to leave....needless to say I had a very long drive home..and a sad one @ that!!!

mamatries
02-26-2007, 11:11 AM
valliegirl60, should we not wear perfume and lotion when we visit? we are planning a visit soon and havent seen our son in months. don't want to mess it up.

Zelda50
02-26-2007, 12:17 PM
Why take the chance. I would say no - don't wear perfume or lotion. And don't handle drugs either. Z.

valliegirl60
02-28-2007, 07:27 AM
valliegirl60, should we not wear perfume and lotion when we visit? we are planning a visit soon and havent seen our son in months. don't want to mess it up. A BIG "NO",,DO NOT WEAR HAND CREAM ,PERFUME.FRESHLY DRY CLEANED CLOTHES,TOUCH Money...etc...it will all come up as a false positive....I am visiting my boyfriend (or trying) this Friday...i have read alot of articles on this Ion test....believe me if you are "one " of the chosen few randomly...and you turn up positive.....they don't care how far you traveled....you will be denied ,the same as I was this past Sunday...needless to say it was A LONG DRIVE HOME!!!!..MAKE SURE YOU WASH YOUR HANDS AS SOON AS YOU GET THERE ALSO.....Valerie:angry:

valliegirl60
02-28-2007, 07:28 AM
PS...DO NOT TAKE ANY PERSCRIPTION DRUGS BEFORE YOU GO IN THAT DAY EITHER...............I WAS WARNED ABOUT THIS...SAD..BUT TRUE

valliegirl60
03-04-2007, 07:47 AM
hey I got past the test this past Friday and i was thrilled....however they said since i had one bad test they have to test me every visit for one year...however ,it helped not having a "false positive test" the other day...I sailed on thru it.......needless to say I WAS SO HAPPY ,AND SO WAS MY MAN!!!

linda07
03-28-2007, 09:08 AM
I recently visited fci terre haute and had a false positive. I made the mistake of stopping and getting gas on the way. I also used latex gloves on the way and that was a big NO! I had purell. I guess it didn't work. My niece rode with me and did nothing and passed. I don't use drugs. I was very upset. I hadn't seen my friend in 8 years. It makes you not want to go back but i know that wouldn't be fair to him. They told me since i tested positive i wasn't allowed to visit for thirty days. My friend told me it's only suppose to be 48 hours. If anyone knows, let me know?

SCMom
03-28-2007, 11:16 AM
I knew someone who failed once and it was 30 days (at a medium). He doesn't do drugs either, but evidently handled money. I sure didin't know purell would cause a false positive either. My son is in a camp & we've yet to be tested. In fact, I've never seen it tested on anyone there and he's been there for a year now. Is that normal for a camp?

TIA4TWO
03-28-2007, 11:41 AM
If you test positive, you're not allowed to come back for 48 hours. I tested false-positive on a Friday and was told that I could try again on Sunday. That was a 2 1/2 hour drive up there and back. I wasn't about to come back on Sunday.

I do believe that the 30-day suspension is after you've tested positve (false-positive) twice. After that it's six months. You will probably be tested every single time you visit for the next year.

Unfortunately, there is no recourse for this. The BOP knows that the technology is flawed and they continue to use it.:angry:

Good luck:thumbsup: I recently visited fci terre haute and had a false positive. I made the mistake of stopping and getting gas on the way. I also used latex gloves on the way and that was a big NO! I had purell. I guess it didn't work. My niece rode with me and did nothing and passed. I don't use drugs. I was very upset. I hadn't seen my friend in 8 years. It makes you not want to go back but i know that wouldn't be fair to him. They told me since i tested positive i wasn't allowed to visit for thirty days. My friend told me it's only suppose to be 48 hours. If anyone knows, let me know?

Zelda50
03-29-2007, 01:48 AM
The first positive test should be only a 48 hour visit suspension, as stated above. Also - did they do a second confirmatory test? You have a right, under the BOP policy, to ask for a 2nd test at the time of the positive test. Z.

Mari Ornelas
04-23-2007, 01:13 PM
I too have been a victim of having a false-positive result. My advise to you is to do the following:

1. Get change before to avoid contact with paper money (About 98% of all 1 dollar bills have cocaine residue).
2. Don't use any lotions, perfumes etc. (That's how I tested positive).
3. Wash your hands, if possible, with plain standard cheap soaps, like the ones provided at Motel 6 and such. Aloe Vera can give you a false-positive test, which is contained in most lotions and soaps.
4. If you do a lot of driving, where surgical gloves, or wash your hands after you pump gas.
5. Make sure that the "sample swab" has been replaced with a new one. I just saw this pass weekend, how a C.O. was testing each visitor with the same swab. They are suppose to use a new one every time.
6. Follow the additional advice provided here as an abundance of caution.

I have been tested multiple times and thankfully, have had no problems since. I try to be as careful as possible. But if you do all this and you still get a false-positive test, please appeal it with the Warden. We need to report this problems so that they can come up with something better than a machine that can't detect a perfume from an illegal substance.

NoraCallahan
05-03-2007, 05:18 PM
Hello PTO Friends:

My mom, 85 years old rejected from Seagoville FCI. I have the story on November, Nora's Blog at november.org.

November has written of the problem, and studied it. I really don't think the machines work. Writing Lappin -- I did that but I'm not sure writing him is going to work either.

I think that victims and advocates should write the Judiciary Committee. Investigations, perhaps at the level of the Government Accounting Office. How much money have taxpayers wasted buying the machines?
You can send them emails, but I can't post the URL.

It makes me feel sad to read that people blame themselves for handling something -- nothing I have read shows me these machines work and we have to stop blaming ourselves for lotion, wearing dry cleaned clothing, pumping gas on the way to the prison, etc.

If a guard doesn't change gloves, change a filter after a false positive, if the machine is not calibrated properly, or someone tried to calibrate it and didn't get it right -- they won't work to detect illegal drugs.

I am very suspicious why policy doesn't allow secondary search. Is it because they wouldn't find drugs, and after the 1,000th time they secondarily searched someone, finding nothing -- they'd feel silly for spending gazillions on gagets that were rushed to market by greedy corporations.

Collectively we can do more and I'm all ears. The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives should hear from us, and Harry L., too!

/judiciary.house.gov/contact.aspx

perhaps someone with URL ability can post that

In Struggle,
Nora

Zelda50
05-04-2007, 11:55 AM
I believe they do not allow a strip search or pat search because, if they did and did find drugs, they would have to prosecute. Then the defense attorney will challenge the accuracy of the technology (the ionscan) that led to the search. Then a Court would rule it inaccurate and they'd have to throw out all their expensive machines and not have a way to discourage and harass visitors (or, in their way of thinking, scaring away visitors who might think about bringing in drugs.) The BOP policy specifically states that the staff are NOT allowed to conduct a secondary search, even if the visitor requests it!! The purpose is not to keep drugs from coming into the institution and that's what is so ultimately ridiculous about the time, expense and detrimental effect on visitors. The BOP's own research project the first three years of using the ionscan, showed that the number of inmate urinalysis tests that were positive for drugs INCREASED in the USP's, where the ionscanner was used on visitors the most frequently. So, to be ultra-cynical - perhaps the purpose of the ionscan technology is to provide secondary income for the BOP C.O.'s, who are not subject to the testing. Z.

NoraCallahan
05-04-2007, 03:43 PM
Mymomwas testedandrejected.Themediacoveredit!seenovembercoa ltion'shomepageatnovember.orgtoviewthevideo.People thatgetrejectedshouldcallthemedia.

NoraCallahan
05-04-2007, 03:44 PM
sorry don't know why the spaces didn't make it.

my mother was recently rejected and see the news video from .november.org home page.

call the media!

Zelda50
05-07-2007, 02:36 PM
From the November Coalition:

Video: Nora Callahan's mother, 85-year old Bea Callahan, denied prison visit with her son Gary because of "positive drug test" - from CW-TV 33, Dallas, TX, May 3, 2007

If that Link doesn't work for you, you can go to:?http://cw33.trb.com/news/?
In news videos you can look for 85 year old woman and watch that portion of the newscast.

My mom was able to visit yesterday, but she was so tired from all the stress she slept through a lot of it. If you have an drug detection ion scanner story we still want to hear it. Along with the story, be sure to tell us how much a prison visit costs to make. How many miles do you drive, or fly, lodging costs and food?

We will be sure that members of Congress get a copy of this newscast, an organized narrative of our collection of stories.?

Any person that visits a federal and most state prisons, know that overcrowded conditions are having effects on visitation, too. The real problem is large corporations are making?obscene?amounts of profits servicing prisons. Prison officials are trying to make obscene prison conditions humane. Humanity breaks down in that societal situation.

That is our problem, and the Ion Trace Detection Scanners that GE and a myraid of other corporations sell, while they wine and dine prison administrators, and young scientists at places like http://www.bigsky.com by companies like Gordon Reserch?http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2005&program=illicit. All of it is underwritten by taxpayers via Homeland Security.

It's big business and we are treated like so much manure that keeps such things running so smoothly.?

Mental torture, that is what it is. And today, all across this country in literally thousands of prisons, hundreds of people are being told, "You tested positive for drugs, you must leave the federal grounds at once."?

I'm very proud of my mother, sisters and little niece. Standing up and refusing to simply accept injustice is a brave thing to do. Our constitutional rights to free speech, like muscles has to be exercised. Doesn't mean a thing if it's 'just on paper.'

We and other advocacy groups used to tell people rejected, to write officials, from the top down. That is still a good idea. Include your congressional leaders, along with wardens and the Heads of entire Prison Complexes, such as Harley Lappin, Director of the Federal Bureau of prisons.?

Along with doing those things, after you 'test positive for drugs and are ejected from prison grounds' like some common piece of trash, through heartbreak and tears -- return to your motel room and call every TV news station, and Newspaper and tell them your story. Call the local Chamber of Commerce and tell them your story!

Gather with other bogus ION detector 'rejects' and call the media together, after you appoint a spokesperson who will let the media know how many of you are available for interviews. If others have to leave town, someone with a digital camera can take pictures of the other victims -- off prison grounds. When you go on visits, take a picture of your imprisoned loved one, so if the media does a story about you, you can give them a photo of a previous visit that you were able to enjoy.

Let the media people know that you are willing to tell your story. In a week or two we will compile collective information (horror stories) and good informational links within our "We've Got Issues" Pages." When you call the media, you'll have a resource page to give them, a place where they can learn about ION trace drug detection machines.

Thank you friends! Fight on...

In Struggle,

Nora

Zelda50
05-07-2007, 07:00 PM
Some info from the ACLU:

We have tracked ion scan device use in prison visitor screening since BOP
started using it for an expermental period funded by the White House Office of
National Drug Control Policy in 1999 and published a proposed rule ( 64 FR
9431, Feb. 25, 1999) that we commented on. (No final rule ever published.)
State prison use also exploded around that time, and then since 9/11 the devices
are in wide use including by TSA at many airports.

At issue is what the device manufacturers coyly call "alarm resolution."
The gizmo signals positive for drug-related molecules -- but then what? BOP
policy since 1999 was that a visitor with a confimed positive test was to be
excluded. No questions asked. They stonewalled all questions from Congress and
visitors and anyone else about the logic.

Not bound by such a silly rule, quite a few state prisons changed their
alarm resolution protocol, sensibly adding further search and where no problems
surfaced, allowing carefully supervised or noncontact visits.

Such change often occurred after the press picked up on embarrassing
instances like the grandmother in the video (also: celebrated instances such as
babies, wardens themselves and priests all testing positive). Canadian prisons
used the devices with a better policy for "alarm resolution" also.

We commented on the BOP proposed rules in 1999 (and also planned litigation)
on a legal theory that automatic exclusion was an APA violation (arbitrary
and capricious) since a positive alarm is a completely ambiguous signal
concerning security risk and can't be interpreted without follow-up (the same way a
metal detector alert doesn't, taken in isolation, mean anything).


Then in February 2005 the BOP published a new Program Statement P5520.01
(available at: _http://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5520_001.pdf_
(http://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5520_001.pdf) ) on their Ion Spectrometry Device Program.
In a significant about-face, the BOP did as we suggested in 1999, ending
automatic exclusion and assiging wardens discretion in how to respond to a
positive ion scan indication.
BOP announced that a confirmed positive test now “may satisfy the reasonable
suspicion standard warranting further investigation, searches, controlled
visitation, or denied visitation.” Individualized decisions are the new norm:
wardens must assess every positive signal situation “on its own merits in
reaching a final decision” and may use “broad discretion to require pat/visual
searches as a prerequisite to visitation, controlled or non-contact
visitation, or a complete denial of visitation.” And no longer is it simply an entry
guard turning away a visitor: denials are henceforth by the warden or
designee. A denial is in effect for 48 hours as before. A denied visitor must be
given an explanatory notice describing the available appeals (like the inmate
grievance system, first to the warden, then Regional BOP Director, and then
to an Assistant BOP Director at headquarters).
This is crucial discretion, and allows good judgment to prevail within the
BOP as in so many other ion scan use situations where follow-up suggests no
security risk. We have a FOIA request pending since last August seeking
details of how the new discretion has been used.
Fritz Mulhauser
Staff Attorney
American Civil Liberties Union
of the National Capital Area
1400 20th St. N.W., Suite 119
Washington, DC 20036-5920

rell123
06-04-2007, 06:08 PM
does anyone no ifthey do ion testing at Ashland FCI??? just curious because im bringing a 7 month old baby also and he picks up anything he can get his hands on please write me back at email removed per pto policy wit any info and advice. thank you

rell123
06-09-2007, 02:28 PM
is an ion detecter the same as a metal detecter?

Just a Mama
06-10-2007, 06:50 AM
Since no one else is here yet to answer your question, I'll try, but my understanding is the ION machines detect drugs. And not the same as metal detectors. Drug residue supposedly can be found on as little as nothing and picked up by ION machines, and many say a false positive is just as likely as not. Some say handling money can cause an ION machine to deny you access, that is why they say handle your money the night before then make sure you do not handle money again until after you have entered the system.

Ifoundhim
06-11-2007, 08:28 AM
On my last visit the guards were talking about how they used the scanner on cinnamon rolls from burger king & that they tested positive. It's complete crap.

fightingmad
07-15-2007, 12:32 AM
The officers refused to tell me what I tested positive for. I asked repeatedly. Even the supervisor admitted that he would want to know if the situation was reversed. My question is -- how did those of you who tested positive for heroin find out what the substance was?

fightingmad
07-15-2007, 10:52 PM
I have written a letter to Dr. Phil McGraw suggesting that he consider researching the problem with Ion scanners for his show. I am going to contact other media as well. If anyone can suggest anything else to do, I will be happy to do it. We need to bring this to the national forefront. As long as the prison system can continue to use our fears of retaliation against us, then we can never get this problem solved.

By the way, does anyone know how legitimate the fear of retaliation against our loved one is?

Amy H
07-17-2007, 02:45 PM
I had a false positive on 7-12-07....ridiculous

The~Mad~Hatter
07-20-2007, 08:07 PM
Hair spray and Hair gel? :confused: Does anyone know if this will give a false postive? I am even worried about taking my daily meds, I will be so stiff at the end of visit (that is if I get in) they will have to roll me out of there on a dolly. :rolleyes: Do Camps have the Ion scanner? Why should I/we have to be worried about something so stupid!! Is it not enough that we have to worry about. :(

Zelda50
07-20-2007, 08:35 PM
I have not yet heard of a camp that uses the ionscan. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. And if you have to take a medication that might show positive on the ionscan (like oxycontin or codeine) - you should call the institution in advance or email the warden's executive assistant (even better to get it in writing!) and ask them what to do and whether submitting a copy of your doctor's prescription will make any difference. I think the exec assistant's email address is listed with the institution on the BOP website. (And I'd like to know the response you get because never has anyone posted after asking this question!) Z.

Ifoundhim
07-20-2007, 08:53 PM
Zelda, before my first visit I emailed concerning prescription medication and the ion test. The response I got was that the test detected illegal drugs & not prescription meds. Blah Blah Blah

The~Mad~Hatter
07-20-2007, 09:23 PM
Thanks Zelda and Ifoundhim. I will search for the email and ask. The info will have to be for next visit. Since we are going tomorrow. I guess I will do without tomorrow but will take them with me so I can take them after visit. Its going to be a veryyyyy long and painful day without my celebrex. :(

I sure hope you are right about the camp and ion thingy. :)

CMaJoR
07-20-2007, 09:54 PM
Oooo good idea w/Dr Phil. I watch his show religiously. :)

The~Mad~Hatter
07-24-2007, 01:14 AM
Well, I took my celebrex the night before and then after the long drive to the camp I took the other pill, crossed my fingers, washed my hands lots!!! held my breath, checked in and I never saw anything that even looked like a ionscanner. :yay: I had the best time visiting with my son and watching everyone in the room having such a great visit with their loved ones. All in all it was a super great day!!! :)

Ifoundhim
07-24-2007, 07:00 AM
SO happy you had a great visit!!!! :)

S&J4ever
07-24-2007, 03:45 PM
just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted in this forum..it helped a lot..im not so worried about not getting into visit my fiance now..i know what i cant do now..thanks again

dee15
01-18-2008, 08:28 PM
what is BOP, It cost my about 5000, by the time i ended up in the hosp over it. and i still have not seen my son yet. I was hoping to see him before my sugery on my back. but I am still waiting to here back from Graceville CF in Florida. If anyone Know anything about this facility. Please let me here from you. The abuse of our loved ones has to stop.

dee15
01-18-2008, 08:30 PM
:angry: what is BOP, It cost my about 5000, by the time i ended up in the hosp over it. and i still have not seen my son yet. I was hoping to see him before my sugery on my back. but I am still waiting to here back from Graceville CF in Florida. If anyone Know anything about this facility. Please let me here from you. The abuse of our loved ones has to stop.

dee15
01-18-2008, 08:44 PM
i had demerol,soma w/codiene, and lidocaine patches that i have to put on my spine. And i failed. even took a pee test at hosp. an a dr letter with me. Still not alloud to visit till thier security clears me....

circle
03-31-2008, 01:14 PM
does anyone know if the ion scanner checks for Benzodiazepines?? I'm taking clonazepam, and just had a false positive for the first time today.;
(first time tested since taking the meds)

Zelda50
03-31-2008, 06:51 PM
The BOP does not provide information about which drugs the ion scan is programmed to test for. They can set it to test for hundreds if they want. In addition, they will not tell you what substance you tested positive for - all you can do is submit your medication and then they check to see if it matches your positive test.

greyghost
04-03-2008, 02:55 PM
I will attempt to answer any question asked of me relating to the ION scan. Now, please understand that when I do, I am not answering taking any side or position. I am only attempting to explain this machine as I know it and what the intent/purpose of it is from the BOP point of view.

So...... shoot away - (just don't shoot the messenger). :D

Zelda50
04-03-2008, 08:29 PM
O.K. I'll bite. What is the purpose of it?

greyghost
04-04-2008, 10:42 AM
:rolleyes:

To prohibit the introduction of drugs into a prison. :D

greyghost
04-04-2008, 10:44 AM
OK - don't slam me yet.

In simple terms that is the purpose of it.

In the areas that I work with, just in the last 5 days, there were 7 attempts to introduce drugs/tobacco into the institution via visitation.

Come on, there's got to be some better questions out there??

If not, I'll come back and write a brief overview and my opinion review of the ION scan.

Zelda50
04-04-2008, 06:13 PM
O.K. So if the purpose is to prevent drugs (clearly it's not addressing the tobacco issue) from entering the facility, why don't they search the visitors who test positive and let the "false positives" visit? A search would determine whether the person was actually bringing in contraband and those folks would be arrested. Leave everybody else alone. That's why I asked the question, because the procedures don't fit what the BOP says they're trying to accomplish!! And why aren't the C.O.'s subject to the ionscan if that is the purpose???

Zelda50
04-04-2008, 06:15 PM
Two more questions: Does the prison keep a log of when the ionscan machine is calibrated, cleaned, and undergoes testing for accuracy?

Is there any procedure in place whereby a person who has to take a prescribed medication, which would test positive on the ionscan, to actually get in to visit without discontinuing their medication?

Ifoundhim
04-04-2008, 06:28 PM
I'm really curious about the medication also. Just this morning my doctor put me on some new meds for migraines. I just blurted out about the ion scanner & asked if there is any way these new meds would show up as a positive. She looked at me strange at first, probably because I was talking so fast, but she did tell me they shouldn't. She did however say that some pain pills she had prescribed me previously could possibly be a problem. No more taking those I guess.

Ifoundhim
04-05-2008, 09:34 AM
I am the original thread killer....

greyghost
04-05-2008, 11:16 AM
I agree with you - mostly. ;)

First- when the ION machine was in the research/development phase, tobacco wasn't the issue that it is now. The BOP is only a small fraction of the companies/agencies that use the technology, so the companies (Smith's Detection and GE) are geared toward a large audience (i.e., Coast Guard, Homeland Sec, ICE, TSA, etc..)

Second- The Director of the BOP (unless I've lost some of my marbles) issued a memo regarding the pat searching of 'immediate family' only if they have a positive hit on the ION scan. I know that some institutions are doing this, but obviously, not all. I will see what documentation I can dig up on this. In the mean time I would suggest that you contact the warden about pat searching the immediate family. And FYI, this is for the immediate family only.

Third - I agree with you that the BOP has, to a certain degree, made using the ION scan somewhat of a joke. What I mean by that (and I know I might get some hatemail because of this), is that if used as intended/designed, I believe that the ION scan goes a long way into preventing the introduction of drugs into the institution (yes staff bring them in as well, but so do a lot of visitors - sad but none the less true). However, the BOP over the past little while has made the ION scan a joke. I agree with you that it's a waste of time. A waste of time based on how it is used, tried to be used. I do have faith in the technology AND that it should be used another tool to ensure safety and security inside of the fence.

Lastly - why aren't the officer subject to the ION scan?? Ask the Union of Federal Employees. I have no problem being subject to the same entrance requirements and anyone else. The Union has successfully fought this one. Heck, the only reason that the Union gave into staff having to use the metal detectors is because of what happened in Talladega. So, I'm with you on this one.


O.K. So if the purpose is to prevent drugs (clearly it's not addressing the tobacco issue) from entering the facility, why don't they search the visitors who test positive and let the "false positives" visit? A search would determine whether the person was actually bringing in contraband and those folks would be arrested. Leave everybody else alone. That's why I asked the question, because the procedures don't fit what the BOP says they're trying to accomplish!! And why aren't the C.O.'s subject to the ionscan if that is the purpose???

greyghost
04-05-2008, 11:33 AM
Two more questions: Does the prison keep a log of when the ionscan machine is calibrated, cleaned, and undergoes testing for accuracy?

Is there any procedure in place whereby a person who has to take a prescribed medication, which would test positive on the ionscan, to actually get in to visit without discontinuing their medication?


Question #1: Yes, it's policy AND look at very closely by the auditors. And it includes all that you've listed above.

Question #2: No, with the reason being that, according to the manufactures, that it is one in a several billion that prescription medication would set off the machine. When the ION scan first was introduced, me and some of my counterparts, who weren't 100% sold on it's accuracy, attempt to get a positive hit using all kinds of substances. Without fail, the machine only hit positive on illegal/prohibited substances. Now, that is my experience with it. I cannot say that for anyone, nor anywhere else. We even tried to get a positive hit with cross contamination, i.e, cash on the hands. We took anywhere from $1 to $20 bills and rubbed them all over our hands, we never - ever had a confirmed positive hit - even when we were actively trying to get it.

Additionally, I was asked to follow one institution's use of the ION machine, with follow-up research on those that tested positive. In the numerous cases that I looked into, easily 97% of those that had tested positive, either admitted that they either used drugs, had friends that used drugs, been a vehilce where drugs had been used/transported, and visited areas that drugs were or had been present. Now, some of these people weren't aware that they had been to places or associated with some people connected to drugs until after the positive test and they were trying to figure out why they tested positive - and that's when they discovered the nexus. With the remaining 3%, 1 person flat out denied any connection to an illegal substances and the rest just never discussed the Ion test. (Research consisted mostly of monitoring of phone and mail). So, while the research wasn't a perfect method, it did provide some supporting info regarding the use of the Ion Scan.

Now, I am no fool. And I know that no system is foolproof, nor 100%. It's just not possible. So, I am certain that some people tested positive that there would be no explanation as to why they tested positive (and that is why the BOP is now moving toward pat searching immediate family who test positive on the Ion Scan). I am also certain that many of the innocent people that test positive on the Ion Scan aren't aware that they're around someone/something that has been or is being exposed to prohibited substances - and (to a certain exent) justifiably so, they are going to be extremely upset that they were denied visitation when they have nothing to do with drugs.

So it's not a perfect system. The BOP is trying to make it work for as many people as possible, with the goal to ensure that everyone visit with their loved one; and until then there are going to be some angry, hurt people - I know that. But the introduction of drugs is a big issue. A huge problem, that the BOP has to address. So as they work this out, people like many of you on PTO are going to be unfairly affected. But they are trying to work it out.

greyghost
04-05-2008, 11:35 AM
I'm really curious about the medication also. Just this morning my doctor put me on some new meds for migraines. I just blurted out about the ion scanner & asked if there is any way these new meds would show up as a positive. She looked at me strange at first, probably because I was talking so fast, but she did tell me they shouldn't. She did however say that some pain pills she had prescribed me previously could possibly be a problem. No more taking those I guess.


As I stated earlier, the pain medications should not be a problem. I've tested (excuse the spelling) percocet, oxycodiene, many of the patches, and many of the other narcotic based presription medicines out there. None of them gave a positive test result.

Zelda50
04-05-2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks Greyghost - It would be good if the policy were that, if immediate family members test positive, that a pat search could be conducted and, if clear on that, they could still visit. People spend so much $$ to travel to visit. And the creator of the technology has always said it should be used only for further investigation. The administrative rule I saw didn't really say that - it just said that pat searches on visitors are allowed. It would be interesting to know if anyone testing positive has been given the pat search and admission to visiting...anyone?? And any idea why the guards' union is so opposed to it being used on their members???

greyghost
04-06-2008, 12:00 PM
I do know that pat searches are being done in some institutions for the immediate family only. It was my understanding (I will get more clarification) that all institutions were to begin doing this based on a memo from the Director that came out toward the end of last year or the first of this year. So I will get back to everyone on this.

As for the Union ??? I can't tell you that. They fought for years against staff having to go through metal detectors. They even intended to fight the BOP on metal detectors after what took place in Talladega until the Director pretty much told them that he wasn't backing down and that take it as far as he needed to get the policy implemented. The Union was afraid of bad publicity, that they would then loose strength in other areas so they agreed to allow staff metal detectors. As part of the agreement, the Union got the BOP administration to agree that visitors and inmates cannot (or at least should not) be able to view staff as they pass through the metal detectors. So if you visit an institution were you appear to be shielded from the metal detector - or you're asked to clear the area when staff are passing through, that is why. I think that's crazy, and the visitors should see that staff are held to the same or similar entrance requirements as visitors.

So, we'll see how all of this develops down the road.

GG

Zelda50
04-06-2008, 02:19 PM
They don't shield the C.O.'s from visitors while going through the metal detector where I visit. I have to admit that, when a C.O. set off the detector for the third time and expressed both through body language and verbally, a certain level of frustration, I was smiling to myself and thinking, "Well, it's about time - maybe the C.O.'s will have a greater level of empathy with what visitors go through now." But also realizing that he got to vent his frustration. We just have to shut up and take it.

greyghost
04-06-2008, 07:06 PM
I am in total agreement that staff should follow the same entrance procedures that visitors, contractors, volunteers, etc. have to follow. However, I wouldn't be surprised that over time, the staff requirement for metal detectors, et. al., will be so watered down as to be a waste of time. I've already seen it.

Where do you visit Zelda50?

Ifoundhim
04-06-2008, 07:30 PM
Both places I have visited recently have put up curtains that shield the view of the metal detector from visitors waiting to be processed.

COPINGSOFAR
04-07-2008, 09:15 AM
Butner installed curtains to shield the metal detectors from view, plus placed chairs to sit in to put your shoes back on. I visited for over 2 years and had to sit on a stone flowerbox to put my shoes back on. I was able to sit in the chairs for a couple of visits. It would have been nice to have been given this same courtesy for just visiting and not because policy changed for the CO's.

Foolish Pride
05-23-2008, 01:32 PM
sooooooo many to read from and i read thru more then 1/2 just want to see if it's true that camps don't use them terre haute camp to be exact....

greyghost
05-23-2008, 04:55 PM
No these are not used at the Camps - any of them. AND for the moment, they are not being used anywhere in the BOP because of 'software' :rolleyes: problems with the machines manufactured by GE.