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  #1  
Old 10-08-2004, 12:17 AM
Morrigan68 Morrigan68 is offline
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Exclamation Prison Ion Drug Scanners - Experiences Needed!

I would like to hear from those who have had experience in dealing with prisons that have the drug scanning machines. This is for an article for Con-Tact News. Please post any personal experiences you have had, or have seen, regarding these machines. I know they aren't in all prisons in all states, so please post the state your experience was in also.

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Old 10-08-2004, 06:00 AM
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I have experience with drug scanners. My boyfriend is located in a federal low secruity insitution. They scan you randomly of course. Well, one Saturday I drove an hour and half to see him. I waited in the lobby for another hour just to have my name called. By the time I got up to the area to be escorted back I was the lucky one to be tested for drugs. The correctional officer scanned my hands and my pockets on my jeans. The first test came out positive. Then she did it again and it beeped. She explained that I couldn't visit for forty eight hours. I was outraged because I knew that I had surgery about four months ago and I was on medication and when I was tested I would never come up positive for anything. So I waited around to talk to the lieutanant because I knew that I hadn't come in contact with any drugs or trying to sneak any type of drugs in the bacl. By the way I tested positive for morphine. I wasn't the only one that test positive for this drug. After talking with the lieutanant I knew that it was a waste of my time. So I drove all the way back home in tears because I was disgusted. By the time I reached home my boyfriend called me to tell me that the machine was broke. Everyone that was tested that day came up positive for morphine. I was pissed. He asked me to come back the next day, but I was too pissed.
The next time I visited I bumped into a lady that was there that day. She said that she tried to run out and catch me because they discovered that the machine was malfunctioning.
I think those machines aren't always accurate. Nothing is accurate 100% when dealing with computers. I just think it's sad that others that have been sneaking drugs in or drug users have made it bad for people like me. I understand that the prison have rules, but it makes it hard for people like me. It's embarrassing and at the same time discouraging.
This happen in the state of Texas.

Last edited by downchick; 10-08-2004 at 06:02 AM..
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:54 AM
Morrigan68 Morrigan68 is offline
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I'm so sorry this happened to you . What medications were you on from your surgery? I hear so many bad things about these machines, and false positives. You aren't alone hon.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:23 PM
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Whoa Im soooo sorry that had to happen to you Down Chick-I had no idea they do that to us visitors-that isnt cool at all. I hope that never happens to me ever-how about the cavity search thingy-I've heard of that happening to visitors-and I also hear thats alot worse!! I hope neigther one ever happens to me-but with my luck it probely will.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:39 PM
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My false-positive came from USP Lompoc, on Friday, May 7, 2004. I made the mistake of spraying J-Lo's "Glow Perfume" on the inside of my wrists right before I got out of my car to go in for visiting. I was tested twice in the same spot (not given the opportunity to wash my hands or anything) To say that I was hot would be an understatement! I was told that I tested positive for MHB aka Ecstasy and I have never seen, touched, or experimented with any drugs whatsover. I knew the test was wrong, but they wouldn't listen. I went home and did my research and that's how I found PTO. I also wrote the Warden a letter, and got a BS generic response back and I forwarded a copy of my letter to Mr. Lappin, his assistant, Tom Kane, and FedCure. The funny thing is when I was tested the first time (a few months earlier) I tested positive for TNT aka dynamite, but they knew it was wrong and they let me in. So know that I know how hyper sensitive the machine is - I'm very careful with what I touch and I don't wear lotion or perfume below my elbow. I just went back Sunday and was tested again - it's supposed to be random, but they were testing every other person. This CO didn't use gloves, like he was supposed to, but he was barely running the test strip over our hands so I don't think they got any hits. At least the CO's there aren't like the others and test your belt, money, shoes, etc.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:48 PM
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I've been tested 3 different times at FCI Lompoc and it was negative. I know a woman that also visits the same facility and she tested positive although she doesn't do drugs. This other time, I was in the lobby area waiting to be brought into the visiting area, a CO walked in and was talking with the CO that was behind the desk. She told that other CO that she believed the drug scanner wasn't accurate so she then tested the CO 3 times and it came up positive. The other thing I noticed was that the CO's don't change their gloves after each use. So if the CO just tested someone and it came up positive, what happens when the CO tests the next person?
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:15 PM
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I got tested "randomly" at Auburn correctional Facility earlier this year. He ran the scanner over my hands, the tops of my shoes, and inside, and around my pants pockets. It came back negative. My love had already expalined to me when I first started visiting to wash my hands before I stepped foot int he facility (so I wash them at the hospitality house, and if I have a package, I hold it with a paper towel in my hand), and dont touch my money until I got into the visit room ( so I have a different see-thru wallet that I only use for visits, and when I go home, I put it in a plastic bag in a drawer until the next visit). I have an 8 hour trip to Auburn, so I 'll be damned if I get turned away from the visit because of some B***S*** ionic scanner.
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:40 PM
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Can someone describe these. I'm facinated by this. I've never seen or heard of these. Are they looking for "residue" or the "smell" of the drugs?

I'm sorry to those turned away. That's just BS. They should give you a friggin sobriety test, kwim? If you're on morphine, it would be pretty obvious
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Old 10-27-2004, 07:28 PM
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Well, I can say that Southport in the state of NY does drug scanning also. I have been tested and after I passed, was never tested again. They also did it randomly. I figured I'd get picked one day, since I went there every week. They took me into a room and explained what the test was and that they were looking for signs of any residue of any kind of drug. The CO had gloves on, took this little wand looking thing with a cloth at the end of it, swabbed it over my hands and normally around your pants pockets, but I didn't have any! They take your license also, put it into this machine along with the cloth they used to swab your hands and not more than like 30 seconds later they tell you if it's positive or negative. As I sat there I asked them if there is ever any possibility that you can get residue of drugs on you from someone or something else and he said no. The guy they tested before me tested positive for cocaine, and come to find out they guy actually did sniff some on the way there from NYC.....I guess to keep him awake the night before since it was such a long drive. So, the machine in fact did really work at Southport. That's really messed up though about how the machine was malfunctioning and they wouldn't let her in....I would've been mad too. I told the CO's after they tested me that nothing had better have tested positive on me because I've never touched a drug in my life and I had driven 2 hours myself to go see him there!!! I never knew they did the drug scanning until I went to Southport.
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:39 AM
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I had a false positive at USP Atwater. I had worked all night long, got off that morning and got on an airplane. I flew from Texas to California, rented a car and drove 1 1/2 hours to the prison. When I got there, I took a hit on my asthma inhailer because they would make me leave it at the CO's podium during visitation.

I tested positive for methamphetamines. I told the CO that I was on several prescription drugs and asked that she allow me to show her my prescriptions. She got mad and grabbed me by the arm and led me outside where she handed me a piece of paper that said I was banned from visiting for several days and that the next time I came for a visit, I had to retest. If I failed again, I would be banned for good.

Because of the banning, I was forced to go back to the airport and go right home again. When I got home I noticed I had a huge bruise on my arm where the CO had grabbed me. I went to my doc to check it out and have it documented and that is where I learned that it was my asthma inhailer that set it off.

Funny thing is, my husband was in the hole during this time and I wouldnt have been able to pass him anything even if I had wanted to.
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:36 AM
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i was told when i went to see my bro that if i tested postive i couldnt come back and visit. they also explained to me in the same sentence that if i in contact with dirty money it could set the machine off. I had used the bathroom before i was tested and washed my hands. It came back negative. My moms friend went to visit her bro in different prison she had touched money before she went in she tested positive and she asked about the money thing they said no way that could happen. but it can happen and did happen to her.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:03 PM
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I had a false positive at FCI Lompoc. I tested postive for cocaine. I've never seen cocaine in my entire life. It was frustrating and I felt hopeless. Shortly after this and many other false positives, the warden discontinued the use of the drug scanner. Now a new warden came in and brought the machine back. With all the false positives that happen, I'm SHOCKED that they're still using it. I haven't been tested since but I've seen false positives happen to others and it's so sad. I WASH my hands like crazy, wipe down with alcohol wipes, don't touch money at all, try not to touch ANYTHING once I walk into the waiting room, and then I hope and pray that I can see my husband that day.
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Old 11-09-2004, 09:28 AM
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I actually had a "false negative"!!!!

When I visited my penpal in NY, I was randomly chosen to go through the screener. Now understand that I have Stage 4 cancer, at the time (and still am) taking a HUGE amount of Narcotics; OxyContin 340MG daily, Percocet 10mg (12 times a day!!) for breakthrough pain, Fentanyl (1200MCG) lollipops for breakthrouh pain, Xanax 2 mg for anxiety, and Ritalin 60MG (to balance it all out)

When I went through the screener, I passed with flying colors. Keep in mind, I didn't have any of the pills actually on me. However, I DID HAVE TWO FENTANYL LOLLIPOPS on me, Because the visit was 4 hours, and I know I would need one. They had NO IDEA what the hell it was, as it looks sort of like a Q-Tip. They let me pass with it, I have to admit, I DID NOT TELL THEM it was a high-powered narcotic, I just told them it was for my cancer.

They let me in.

I hope that helps.

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Old 11-09-2004, 07:56 PM
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On my last visit I saw the machine and was wondering if that was the drug machine, and that they probably won't ask me 'cause I'm with my daughter who's 4. Wrong they picked me. I was just tested a week and a half ago at Sing Sing in NY. It came back negative thank God. I don't do drugs, I don't touch drugs, but i was still nervous. After I passed thru the metal detector and was just one door away from the visiting room, the CO called me into a room and closed the door. He explained he was doing a random check for drugs, blah blah, and asked me for my consent (of course I said yes, I assume if you refuse they will refuse your visit) He took my ID and handed it to another CO. The Co swabbed both my hands, my pants pocket and my shoes, and handed it off to another co who put it in the machine. I asked if someone is on medication, if it comes up and they said no. But I can't see that. narcotics are narcotics, so if someone touched a pill to take it for pain (like XStatik) it should come up. I don't think those machines are that great and accurate. And as I see from these past posts, cause a lot of pain (and embarassment) for innocent people. It's a good idea I agree there should not be drugs in prisons, but there has to be a better way.
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:13 PM
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These postings are interesting. I have heard of the machines, but have not seen one, than goodness. I do not take any drugs I do not have a prescription for, but have often wondered about touching money and stuff like that. I have often read most money in the United States has been handled by a drug dealer at some time or another. So I know now to make sure and wear clean clothes and wash up extensively if I ever visit my husband and they have one of those machines. And not wear perfume below the elbows! I think it is hysterical about the false negative. And we all know the DOC makes no mistakes! LOLOL
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:50 PM
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I've Never Seen This Thread Because I Wouldn've Have Posted My Experiences On Here. I Have A Thread Right Now About My Denied Visit This Past Sunday. My Husband In In Usp Allenwood In Pa And On The Weekends They Test Everybody! It's Suppose To Be Random But It's Not. They Test Just Your Hands And Wrists And Sometimes Lower Arms To The Elbow. I Don't Understand The Clothes And Stuff. The Big Metal Detector You Walk Through Doesn't Just Detect Metal. It's Suppose To Pick Up On Drugs Too. But I've Had A False Positive 4 Times This Year And Understandably Pissed. But Mine Is Mostly The C.o.'s Don't Like My Husband. But Dont' Put Any Chemicals In Your Hair Or Do Your Nails The Day Before. I Also Heard About Those Energy Drinks Show Up As Well. The C.o.'s Told Me That The Machine Does Not Tell You What Exactly You Have Tested Positive For So I'm Curious About Others Whom Have Been Told A Specific Drug.

The Machine They Use At Usp Allenwood Is A Long Baton Stick About 12 Inches With The Tip They Put The Testing Strip. That Strip Is Passed Over Your Hands And Arms And Then Inserted Into The Machine.
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Old 11-13-2004, 07:41 AM
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They have one of those machines at graterford and it came up that I tested positive for heroin,dope and coccaine,4 days in a row,the first 3 days the supt let me in anyway because he knew it was wrong,the fourth day,they told me I couldn't go in and I was banned for life.I wasn't allowed to say goodbye or anything.
I was staying in the home of the prison chaplain,so I don't know where they thought I was getting drugs from.The strange thing was,I washed my hands before and after the test and my reading tripled.
The only medication I'd had was codiene pain relief,but it turns out,they have the same chemical breakdown as heroin,which I never would of guessed.
When I left there,I had a hair sample tested,plus regular urine and blood tests done to prove I never touch drugs.
The captain did explain that if the machine is set too sensitively,it will detect baby lotion and give a false positive.If you touch money or a door handle,you can pick up traces of drugs.
I contacted the company that make the machines,wrote to the supt and security people at the prison and within a month or so,they agreed it was wrong and I could visit after all.
I now know the real reason I failed those test's and it had nothing to do with drugs,more a race issue on somebodies part at the prison.

Whilst I was there,I got talking to a lady whose daughter tested positive,along with her small children and now she is banned for life,her husband has a natural life sentence and he'll never see his wife or children again,I think that is appalling.
I know prison's have to have security measures in place,but most of the stuff comes in through staff,not visitors and I've seen them arrive for work,they just walk in,through a metal detector and they are in,no search,nothing.

They used to use those machines in some places over here,but withdrew them because they are too unreliable.

I am totally paronoid every time I visit now,I only handle money I brought with me from home,it's usually new notes,I take anti-bacterial wipes with me to wipe my hands if I do mistakenly touch something and I just prey that i get in with no problems.

I think unless the person using the machine has been trained,not only to carry out the test,but to recognise when there is a problem or fault,things will never be 100% foolproof.
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:37 PM
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I tested positive for LSD! I don't know what LSD is and everyone I asked doesn't know. This is unfair and I still can't believe it.
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Old 11-19-2004, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky's_Girl
I would like to hear from those who have had experience in dealing with prisons that have the drug scanning machines. This is for an article for Con-Tact News. Please post any personal experiences you have had, or have seen, regarding these machines. I know they aren't in all prisons in all states, so please post the state your experience was in also.

Thanks!
My daughter, Stacy Weischedel #05754-046 is doing life without parole at Dublin, California, had called me a week before we (my grandson, her son and myself) were due to come down to visit...(our visit was this past Aug the 27 thru 29) she informed me that when I got to the motel I was to wash everything down EVERYTHING ..... It appears this facility has a new Electronic Drug Detection Device and over half the visitors that visited the weekend before us were turned away because they were tested positive for having particles of a controlled substances on them. There are many angry parents at this moment...


so to be safe I did as my daughter suggested each visiting day including washing down the inside of my car and gassing up the night before and washing after that.....we were not scanned on Friday so we got to have our visit....but on Saturday I had to remove my belt and that was scanned... now mind you with this NEW device an officer puts on cotton gloves, does not always change them and then he/she uses a wan and swipes it across the article they are testing then swipes it across this machine that shows the results on a PC screen that can also be printed out so there is a hard copy...the officer never said whether my belt passed the test when asked but she did sign me off to go in for my visit.... I found out after I had gotten in over half the visitors before me were turned away and I know at least ten in my group were turned away...



Now comes Sunday...as we were standing in line to get in... three came out that were tested and turned away.... one parent was a public social worker and a male that came to see his daughter just retired from the military.... (the parents that are and were being scanned and turned away on Saturday because of a particle of controlled substance are in the late 60's on Saturdays visit one visitor was in her 70's and in a wheel chair and one was a small child that they scanned the tops of his shoes!!!!)



Sunday I had put on a clean dress that came right from the store along with a brand new watch... again cleaned and wiped down the motel room to the best I could and our self and after getting to the prison before going in I took a clean towel and again wiped both my grandson and myself down really good including my watch and the see thru coin purse..... when it was our turn to sign in an officer took my plastic coin purse and swiped the wan across it, both sides...mind you she had picked up the coin purse in her own gloved hands which I know for a fact she did not put on fresh gloves and by the way these gloves were in an open box exposed to what ever is in the air...and this purse is a see thru so one could see there is no drugs in there!... she then proceeded to put this info in to the great drug detecting devise.... told me to sit.....half hour later she called me up.. I thought great it passed and we were going in... no she then wanted me to take my watch off...and she took it in her hands and swiped it and tested it.... I had asked about the results of the first test on my coin purse but she would not tell me the results so why the second testing...were they were going to keep testing till they found something.....I don't know, because they will not allow you to see the results nor did they tell us anything.... I was again told to sit..... another half hour goes by before they call me back up and in the mean time they have been testing other parents and turning them away as fast as you can flip a pan cake ... I was called up again just to be told that this time my watch tested positive for particles of a controlled substance... I asked them then to search my person, they can do a strip search, a cavity search or all the above but I was told "no" to leave...I was also refused to see the results of the test or given a copy of the test.



I have never given them any reason what's so ever in four years of visiting my daughter to test me.... I feel that they have persecuted me and deemed me a criminal...it is now in their computer that I had a particle of a controlled substance on me and there fore I am to be tested at the next visit.... this is so wrong !!!



I told the one officer that was signing the denial "notices" that there is no way one can come 1400 miles using public facilities and not come in contact with Particles from a Controlled Substance, he said "I don't care if you came from China" ....I also told him that over half the visitors were elderly and using prescription drugs along with my self..... they did not care...this new devise is set up so all visitors will be denied their right to a visit with their loved one.....



Monday my daughter went to her Captain with what I had told her on how I was tested and treated ....who of course defended his crew and how they conducted things and that they were highly trained by a professional on this drug detection devise.... he told her that one, the officer doing the test was to scan the person not any piece of article...well everything she tested was a piece of article that she had the visitor remove and hand to her...second the officer doing the testing was not to touch anything that was being tested.. the officer held each article she scanned and third the testing was to be done at random but every visitor was being tested... I was tested on Saturday and should not have been tested Sunday... I was tested both days!



My grandson was so devastated to be turned away on Sunday he cried for two hours



With this testing if you are tested positive you have to wait 48 hours before returning then you will be tested again.. if you pass great you get your visit if not you have to wait then 30 days then 90 then 180 !!!! there is no way one can pass this test... none of us have 48 hours to wait to visit we have to return home and all of us live miles away...and you can not come that far and be clean it is impossible..



A young man that was arrested Sunday morning was a17 year old child that all he wanted to do was have a visit with his mother whom he had not seen in months...he was so angry and kept telling them, the guards, that he was not a drug user he was not smuggling in drugs... parents were so up set that a small group of them began to riot...but that was soon broke up and they left.



This machine that the FCI at Dublin is using is also used in many if not all air ports...after a suit case or brief case is scanned and the results are positive they then open the luggage to search for drugs...they do not assume the person carrying the luggage is dirty as these guards made us feel. As I told my daughter, I do not blame the guards they are doing as they are told by their superiors...they should not have put this device into effect till the bugs were ironed out or the personnel operating it was better trained....



We should not have to jump thru hoops to visit our loved ones, we should not have to go into our hotel rooms just to spend the majority of our time there washing things down nor should we have to worry about what we have touched or what and whom has touched us or we should not have to worry about what material our clothing is made off and whether or not we have perfume on.... we are not circus animals, we are not criminals...all of those that were turned away these past two weeks were up standing citizens that have never given the FCI any reason to suspect them of wrong doings.



My daughter is doing life......it is not fair to me, her son or her.... if this continues as is, then I will never get to see my daughter. We must have rights??? ... and if so then our rights have been violated.....I do not object to the testing .... but there has got to be a better way... better trained personal doing the testing and if these test show any kind of particles on a person or article we are carrying then we should be given the right to be searched to prove we are clean...



I understand I am not being accusing of being a drug user but they are accusing me of smuggling or trying to smuggle drugs in by denying me visits. Because of a "particle" of a controlled substance on me or something I am carrying they are "assuming" I have drugs on me.... I also am not blaming the guards that were doing the testing, I am sure they believed they were doing things right and were doing what their superiors told them to do.... but it was all done wrong...you will not have this many parents trying to smuggle in drugs.. come on now.... these scanners are giving off false positives.. all of us know this.....



I have always showed respect for the rules and followed them to the tee..... My Stacy has never given the FBOP any reason to deny her visits with myself and her son.

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Old 11-20-2004, 12:20 PM
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this is so sad
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Old 12-02-2004, 06:48 PM
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Default drug screeners

I am very familiar with these machines, as I have been screened more than once. They supposedly choose people at random, but for some reason I was always the one getting picked. All the times I've visited, I've never seen anyone else asked to go to the screener. Don't know why....My guy is clean now, does not have dirty urines, etc.
Anyway, what they do is run a piece of gauze over your hands and clothing and then run it through a machine, which checks for drug residue. I'm so paranoid now that I won't even take Tylenol before a visit!
This happens at Chester SCI in Pennsylvania, which is a D&A rehab prison.
Feel free to PM me if you want more info or have any questions!
~Renee
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2004, 05:55 AM
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bethbupp bethbupp is offline
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Red face staff does get scanned

Hi,
You asked for experiences with drug scanners. I want to let you know that staff (at least in PA) does get scanned. Not every time they go in, but randomly, and every staff has to get scanned at least once a year. Yes, I used to be staff (a teacher), but now my son is inside, so don't shoot me! Four years ago, when I was 8 months pregnant, I stopped on the way to work to get a donut. They handed me change, which I put in my pocket. When I got to work, I got picked to go through the drug scanner. It tested positive. Now, you have to realize that I had not even SEEN any illegal drugs in 20 years, and certainly wouldn't have been using them pregnant. I tested positive from the money I had handled. They told me to go wash my hands. When I came back, I tested negative. If I would not have, I would have been sent immediately to the hospital for urine and blood tests. Right now, they won't let me in to visit my son, because I used to work there. But if they ever do, you can be sure that I am going to scrub myself most thoroughly before leaving the house & not touch anything (including the front door of the prison!) with my bare hands until after I get into the visiting room. Think about it -- everyone uses the same pen to sign in -- what did the last person leave on it?
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:43 PM
titantoo titantoo is offline
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Default

Take a look at

http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/205685.pdf

I think it might be useful.

I am looking for more info!
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:30 PM
MrsPhil MrsPhil is offline
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When so many people are turned away doesn't someone with the authority to do something see the problem here?? They must know that not all of these people have ben in contact woth drugs. But like everything else, I guess they just don't care.
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:40 PM
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They have them here in Australia, its supposed to be the latest technology from the USA.
It looks like a pod that you walk in on a spaceship. The doors open and you are like "sealed" in. Then you place your finger on a pad, and put in a pincode. All of a sudden, this HUGE puff of air goes off, and three LOUD bangs (scares the kids). The you remain in there for like 45-60 seconds, as the air circulates before the doors open. If they detect drugs, you are shot back out the other side, and cant enter the prison. Alarms go off, and the visitor can be searched.
The first time I went in, I screamed, it sounded like gun shots going off, and it goes by biorythmns, so I am sure my heart was going a million miles a hour. Its a relief when the doors open, and you can walk out into the prison. To bad if you are clostraphobic.
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