A Layered Approach to Corrections Screening

The trafficking of contraband and weapons into correctional facilities puts the safety of both inmates and staff at great risk. As Correction Forum magazine points out, the size and materials of weapons are changing to reduce their chances of detection. Narcotics, too, are continuing adapting, with new ways of transporting drugs being used.

The corrections environment cannot rely on a single screening method if it wishes to effectively stop the flow of contraband and drugs. To increase the chances of success, a layered approach to the screening of visitors, employees and inmates must be adopted.

6 Elements of a layered screening approach


6 Layered Approach to Screening:

Background Checks

Before allowing any visitor to entry to your facility they should undergo a comprehensive background check to ensure that they have no criminal record. Though visitors to correctional facilities should be limited to immediate family, any person with a criminal past should be denied access.

Potential employees should be given comprehensive background checks before being offered a position. With checks being made on close friends and family to ensure employees are not connected to people who may wish to infiltrate your facility or have connections to any inmates.

Entry Screening

Before entering a criminal facility, all visitors and their belongings should be screened using both metal and trace detection equipment looking for any signs of drugs, weapons or other contraband. The use of high-quality, non-invasive screening equipment can utilised to ensure the fast, yet thorough screening of anyone entering a facility.

Employees, too, should be used in the same way on a daily basis.

Inmate screening

On a regular basis, the same screening equipment should be used to screen inmates for any hidden contraband. Swabbing inmates’ hands, clothes and belonging using sensitive trace detection technology will help identify narcotics.

Cell Searching

By investing in mobile equipment, x-rays can be moved to inmates cells to screen belongs should there be any reason to suspect contraband is being hidden. Trace equipment should be used on bedding and belongings to identify any hidden narcotics.

Phone Monitoring

All calls made by prisoners should be monitor for patterns and code words that might indicate delivery.

Mail and Deliveries

Use X-ray screening to find any hidden items in incoming mail and goods deliveries. High-quality x-ray equipment will minimise any possible disruption caused by screening of deliveries, helping keep operations running, while reducing the need for manual searches. Trace detection again be employed to discover any micro amounts of narcotics or explosives.