Oklahoma Prisons Go High Tech To Confiscate Inmate Contraband

Thursday, January 14th 2016, 3:21 pm
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has begun using new technology to confiscate contraband inside its prisons.  

The first prison to see the new equipment was the Conner Correctional Center in Osage County.  Officials began using new Cellsense towers and deep tissue scanners this week to detect cell phones, weapons and other illegal items an inmate may have hidden on their body.

Acquired by the DOC in late 2015, Cellsense towers are portable devices that can be set up quickly and provide a full body scan of inmates who walk past, allowing for more inmates to be searched in less time.  

Officials say the towers are more effective than a metal detector you would see at an airport.

The DOC says a deep tissue scanner is a hand-held device used to detect objects not immediately found on an offender after a pat-down search. 

A list of the items turned up by the new technology during this week's shakedown at the Conner Correctional Center:

  • 22 cell phone chargers 
  • 20 stabbing weapons (shanks)
  • 19 cell phones 
  • 10 homemade drug pipes 
  • Six lighters
  • Four screwdrivers
  • 3.5 grams of narcotics  
  • 3.5 ounces of smoking tobacco
  • Two unidentified pills
  • Tattoo gun
  • One can of chewing tobacco

“It will even alert to a cell phone or weapon hidden inside an offender. The new technologies we are able to implement while doing a shakedown is going a long way to curtail our contraband problem within state facilities,” said Special Assistant Lance Hetmer. 

Hetmer said by February every state prison facility in the state will have a Cellsense tower to assist in contraband searches.