05/03/2016 14:30 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 01:12 EDT

Ontario jails to get full-body scanners in a bid to reduce contraband

TORONTO — Ontario's correctional services minister says full-body scanners will be installed at Ontario jails as a way to better detect contraband.

The scanners will be installed at all 26 adult correctional facilities in the province over two years at a cost of $9.5 million.

Naqvi says Ontario will be the first province in the country to install the scanners.

The move follows a six-month pilot project at the Toronto South Detention Centre, which Minister Yasir Naqvi says resulted in a reduction in contraband and fewer incidents with weapons.

During that project 16,427 scans were done and 86 inmates were found with ceramic blades, pills, marijuana and other contraband.

Current methods of contraband detection — including a Body Orifice Scanner chair, hand-held and walk-through metal detectors and strip searches — can't always detect items that are non-metallic or hidden internally.


The Canadian Press