Body scanners are coming to the Regina Correctional Centre next spring.
The province will spend between $100-200 million per scanner in an attempt to prevent drugs from being smuggled into the facility.
According to Drew Wilby, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Justice, the first objective in getting the scanners is to keep staff and inmates safe. The second, is to act as a deterrent for anybody thinking about smuggling contraband.
“If inmates become educated that they’re coming into a facility (with) a 360-degree scan, I think they’re going to be less likely to try and bring stuff in,” Wilby said.
Wilby said if the scanners prove effective, they’ll consider placing them in correctional facilities elsewhere in the province.
It was about a year ago that a coroner’s inquest was held into the death of a young offender at Kilburn Hall in Saskatoon.
One of the recommendations was to implement scanners at every adult and youth facility in the province. Scanners are already used in Ontario.
The province is starting with Regina because it’s Saskatchewan’s largest correctional facility with 700 inmates.
There have been two cases this month of men allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the building.
Wilby said trying to hide drugs inside the rectum is dangerous — the package could explode or open up inside one’s body.
Removing the drugs surgically could result in a colostomy or death.
If the drugs do make it inside, their consumption could lead to potentially-fatal overdoses.
In the province’s view, improved safety will make the scanners money well-spent.
“If you have a death associated with this and a lawsuit is enacted against the government, obviously the cost of that can be long and high. Not only that, you’ve lost a human life,” Wilby said.