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December 06, 2017 06:08 PM

Pennington County Jail Using Body Scanner

Rapid City, SD

Illegal items such as drugs being brought into jails is a problem happening statewide. Now the Pennington County Jail has a new tool to help fight the issue.

"It's been a problem in corrections all across the nation, people bringing in drugs and other contraband into facilities," Brian Mueller, Pennington County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy, said.

The new addition of a body scanner at the Pennington County jail will help change that.

 "When a person is brought into jail and they go into general population, they're scanned before they go to general population," Rob Yantis, Jail Commander said.

The inmate will stand and then a button is pushed and they will move through the scanner. Their image will then appear on a computer screen.

"Anything in a facility that can be used to harm somebody, we want to catch those things and remove them from the facility, this is a great tool for us," Yantis said.

This weekend all the current inmates were scanned and several illegal items were found, including meth.

"Any illegal drugs inside our facility is too much in our standards, so any amount of drugs we can take out of our facility or stop from coming in is a victory in our mind," Mueller said.

Not only will the scanner help keep out illegal items, but also ensure safety.

"That is a huge protection not only for our staff, which is a huge part of our concern and people that work in our facility, but also for the other inmates. If you come to this facility, we want to make sure you're safe," Yantis said.

Mueller says Pennington County is one of the first county jails with this new device. 
The body scanner cost over $160,000 and was purchased with help from the state drug fund.


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