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Body scanner to boost safety at Edmonton Remand

Body-scanner technology is being tested at the Edmonton Remand Centre over the next year as part of a pilot project.

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Minister Ganley discusses body scanner technology with Ken Johnston, director of security at the Edmonton Remand Centre and Guy Smith, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

The goal of the project is to protect staff and inmates by preventing illegal drugs and contraband from entering the facility.

The pilot project will use a body scanner, similar to those at airports, to help identify illegal and dangerous items that incoming inmates may attempt to bring into the centre. The scanner can identify items on the body, such as a packet of drugs hidden in hair or a weapon strapped to a leg, as well as foreign objects in body cavities.

“The safety and security of staff, inmates, and visitors at the Edmonton Remand Centre is paramount. Over the next year, we will evaluate how effective this technology is in preventing illicit drugs, dangerous substances and weapons from entering and jeopardizing the health and safety of those who enter this facility.”

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

The scanner will support other security measures already in place such as drug detection dogs, searches, intelligence gathering and regular scheduled rounds and checks.

“The scanner is an effective tool to help aid in the detection of contraband that can enter correctional facilities and pose risks to correctional peace officers, health-care workers, inmates and others. We’re pleased the province is introducing the technology at the Edmonton Remand Centre today.”

Guy Smith, president, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

 “The staff is very pleased to have this technology at the Edmonton Remand Centre. The scanner is a part of a toolbox of security measures that will improve our ability to maintain safety for all those who work and live at the centre. We are looking forward to making this a part of our daily operations.”

Ken Johnston, director of security, Edmonton Remand Centre   

Staff training continues on the body scanner, and it is expected to be fully operational by Dec. 1st. The effectiveness of the body scanner will be evaluated a year after that. When the pilot project is over, government will decide whether body-scanner technology will be introduced to other provincial correctional facilities.

Quick facts

Edmonton Remand Centre

  • Opened in 2013
  • Average daily population of 1,511 (April 1-July 31, 2017)

Body scanner

  • The cost of the body scanner and its maintenance contract is estimated to be $580,000.

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