TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda R. Greenstein that would permit correctional facilities to use body imaging scanning equipment was approved today by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill, S-2832, would permit State and county correctional facilities to use body imaging scanning equipment to search inmates. Body imaging scanning equipment is defined in the bill as equipment that uses a low dose conventional x-ray transmission to produce an anatomical image of the inmate which can identify external and internal contraband.
Under the bill, the use of body imaging scanning equipment would be limited to searches conducted any time before or after an inmate enters or leaves the correctional facility, is placed in pre-hearing detention, disciplinary detention, protective custody, psychological observation, or suicide watch, or has a contact visit in which the inmate and visitor are permitted physical contact with each other.
“Inmates are nothing short of creative when it comes to finding ways to hide contraband. The body imaging scanning equipment will serve as another tool to help officers ensure their own safety as well as the safety of other inmates in the facility,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex and Mercer), chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee. “The equipment will supplement standard searches and enhance security in our state’s correctional facilities.”
The bill would also require any body imaging scanning equipment to be operated by an employee of the State or county correctional facility or other law enforcement officer who has successfully completed a training course approved by the Police Training Commission and met any education and training qualifications required by the Commissioner of Corrections.
“Equally important to having high-tech equipment is proper training on how to properly use it to maximize its effectiveness,” said Senator Greenstein.
The bill was approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee with a vote of 5-0. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.