YORK COUNTY, SC (YCSO NEWS) – In keeping with the priority of maintaining a safe and secure detention facility, the York County Sheriff’s Office has purchased a body scanner. On May 26, 2020, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control gave final approval for installation of the Intercept Full Body Security Scanning System, manufactured by Tek 84, Incorporated.
The York County Detention Center (YCDC) has seen a significant increase in inmate population over the past five years. The number of inmates processed into the facility has increased approximately 28% since 2016. An increase in the number of inmates entering the facility directly increases the probability that dangerous contraband could enter the facility. A body scanner provides a significantly higher level of detection of arrestee contraband prior to the individual being placed in a holding cell. To maintain the modesty and integrity of each individual, the body scanner is a less intrusive search than requiring each detainee to be strip searched during the booking process.
“One of our goals at the York County Detention Center is to constantly focus on officer and inmate safety,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “The purchase of this scanner certainly gets us closer to that goal while minimizing risk to both staff and inmates.”
The total cost of the body scanner is $159,430. The 21 South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) facilities, and at least six sheriff’s office detention centers in South Carolina use similar body scanners.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) reviews policy and plans for the use of body scanners prior to granting approval. The ionizing radiation x-ray dose from the security screening process is much less than the average member of the public receives in one day from natural sources of radiation. A person scanned by the Intercept Full Body Security Scanning System would receive .25 dose of ionizing x-ray radiation, or micro-sieverts. In comparison, a person receiving a dental x-ray is exposed to approximately 500 micro-sieverts. An individual would need to be scanned approximately 1,000 times per year before it could be considered potentially dangerous. The YCDC will keep records on how many times each inmate is scanned.
The body scanner will be in operation beginning June 29, 2020 or once all required training and inspections are completed.