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La Porte County jail demonstrates new body scanner

LA PORTE, Ind. – The La Porte County jail now has a body scanner that detects drugs and other contraband. Thursday, deputies let ABC 57 do a test run.

“Across the state of Indiana and across the nation, there’s an increase in the number of overdoses that are occurring in correctional facilities. We’re no exception to that. We have had several overdoses, and the question that we always have is how are these substances getting into our jail?” said La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd.

As Deputy Michelle Allen discovered on Monday, inmates tend to hide contraband in body cavities.

“She was on her monthly cycle, so she had contraband inside of her with a makeshift sanitary napkin that she had hidden hygiene items and some tattoo paraphernalia,” said Deputy Allen.

“What I saw was about the size of a battery, but it also had a black circular hole in the center of it, which is not normal…She had a tube of toothpaste, pencil cap, the leads pulled out from the pencils inside of there, drink mixes,” she said.

Every inmate, save a few exceptions, will have to go through the scanner upon booking.

They take their shoes off and step on the platform, which slides back and forth, producing a detailed image of their bodies, which deputies can use to identify objects that seem out of place. “Anybody who is found bringing contraband into the jail, they will be criminally charged if it applies. It’s zero tolerance. We’re really concerned about what is coming into the building, and it’s something that we’re taking very seriously,” said La Porte County Jail Commander Derek Allen.

The Sheriff says they were able to pay the $199,000 for the scanner with discretionary funds from their department an appropriation from the county council.


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