‘An extreme deterrent:’ Racine County Jail installs body scanners to keep contraband out

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Racine County Jail body scanners

RACINE -- The Racine County Jail installed two new body scanners to prevent inmates from smuggling contraband inside. The goal is to keep inmates and jail staff safer.

"This is a lifesaving device the way I see it," said Racine County Sheriff Christpher Schmaling.

The simple body scanner is making a serious impact at the Racine County Jail.

"We're not getting nearly as many drugs," said Schmaling.

Racine County Jail body scanners

Racine County Jail body scanners

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling says after an inmate almost overdosed on heroin that somebody smuggled into the jail, he wanted to make the facility more secure for both inmates and staff.

"It has been an extreme deterrent," Schmaling said. "We have noticed that inmates, it's gotten out on the streets that this is not the place to bring your contraband."

Contraband

Contraband

Contraband

Racine County Jail body scanners

The machines cost $118,000 each and paid for by inmate commissary revenue.

Here's how the scanners work: inmates fill out a pre-screening questionnaire, then stand to be scanned without being subjected to an intrusive body search.

"It's got unique technology. It doesn't scan soft tissue like breasts or genitalia," said Schmaling.

Sheriff Schmaling is proud the facility is more safe thanks to the newly-installed body scanners.

Racine County Jail body scanners

"This bigger picture to me is that contraband is not in my jail and no one is going to lose their life over it," said Schmaling.

Sheriff Schmaling says the scanners are similar to what you might see at the airport. So far, roughly 7,000 inmates have been scanned.

Racine County Jail body scanners

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