Saskatchewan

Body scanner ready to find contraband coming into Regina jail

The Regina Correctional Centre has a new tool for catching people smuggling in contraband.

Facility also has an amnesty box for people to surrender drugs

Julien Hulet is the director of the Regina Correctional Centre. He said contraband is a daily issue for the jail. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

The Regina Correctional Centre has a new tool for catching people smuggling in contraband.

A new full-body scanner will be used on all people coming into the facility and can be used for random checks.

Contraband is a daily issue, according to Julien Hulet, the facility's director.

Hulet estimates 75 per cent of men that come into correctional facilities across the province have substance issues that need to be addressed through abstinence or rehabilitation programs. 

"Having drugs in the facility returns them to a state that provides a risk for our staff," he said.

The new body scanner at the Regina Correctional Centre works by having the person stand on the platform and being moved through the x-ray. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Staff can also be at risk if they come into contact with powders or pills, Hulet said. 

Corrections officers are in a constant battle with "security threat groups" (gangs) who control the drug trade within the facility. 

Inmates can give it up "no questions asked"

The jail has an amnesty program that allows people to surrender drugs, Hulet said.

"The intent isn't to punish people — our intent is to not have it enter into the facility," he said. "So people will be given an option to void themselves of this product. There's an amnesty box where you can go in — no questions asked."

Regina Correctional Centre also has 20 beds for a five-week rehabilitation program, Hulet said.

The new body scanner at the Regina Correctional Centre will be used on all new inmates and for random checks. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

With files from Heidi Atter and Kirk Fraser