Del. DOC unveils new body scanners for correctional facilities

DELAWARE – The Delaware Department of Corrections is updating their security checks for anyone going into their facilities. They debuted the technology today. “One of our goals at the department of corrections has been to modernize our operations, and these mili-wave body scanners do that. Think about when you go to the airport. It’s that same technology,” said Commissioner Claire DeMatteis.

Commissioner DeMatteis says the scanners are a big upgrade from traditional metal detectors. She says some scanners used within the prisons can even detect items inside a person’s body. “If you try and hide something on your body and you try and sneak it into a prison, we’re going to find it,” said Commissioner DeMatteis.

The scanners are similar to what travelers might see at an airport. A person would walk into the scanner. From there, it would take a vague image. If something is detected that person will be subjected to a pat down search. “At the end of the day I think our staff want a safe work environment. I know they do. They demand a safe work environment. This technology gives us that opportunity,” said Deputy Commissioner Monroe Hudson.

Executive Director of the ACLU of Delaware Mike Brickner says safety is always a top priority. But Brickner says he sees where concerns about privacy could arise. “What are the security risks at stake? But then how do the security protocols that we’ve put in place potentially threaten peoples’ privacy?” said Brickner.

Commissioner DeMatteis says the department spent months researching and making sure they got a model of scanner that wouldn’t invade privacy. “There were concerns with the first generation that you can see too much of a person’s private body parts or something. Nothing like that,” said Commissioner DeMatteis.

Commissioner DeMatteis says the scanners were purchased with the help of funding from the General Assembly. The Department of Corrections got about $1 million to buy the new technology.

Categories: Delaware, Local News