Magazine article Corrections Forum

Prison Tests Keeping out Some Drugs, and Visitors

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Prison Tests Keeping out Some Drugs, and Visitors

Article excerpt

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Visitors to prisons controlled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons are subject to a drug-testing machine that officials say is used to minimize drug usage in the facilities. The "minimally invasive" procedure takes swab samples from visitors' hands or clothes, and within seconds the results are produced. Authorities say the high-tech machine is so sensitive, it is unlikely that anyone who comes into contact with illegal substances would be able to bypass the test. Chemist James Woodford says, "If you go into a place where someone has smoked some meth or cocaine, there will be thousands if not hundreds of thousands of nanograms of pollution, and these ion scanners test at the nanogram level." Although the machines have been implemented for a decade to cut the incidences of visitors bringing inmates drugs, a 2003 Department of Justice Inspector General report revealed that efforts to impede drug trafficking did not decrease drug usage in prisons. …

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