How X-ray Machines Can Help with Prison Security

Angela Chang, Writer & Outreach Manager, Uni X-ray
Oct 23, 2023

In all agreeable terms, prison is the one place that you expect to have a tightened security system. Work is already under way to reduce the amount of drugs that find their way into the UK's prisons, and as part of this initiative, prison staff are always on guard trying to be vigilant around external visitors. The human eye is limited to the extent to which it can see objects, people, or any other thing in motion. Because of this, relying on prison staff's observation is not enough.  

For this reason, the indulgence in computerized objects or machines is a necessity for the prison environment. X-ray machines can be an effective way to improve this job and deliver results. Analytics and every hidden part or object will be seen. Using x-ray, the most hidden of illegal substances can be drawn out. 

To detect any drugs smuggled into prisons inside visitors' bodies, one effective option could be the increased use of industrial radiography equipment. Visitors would be scanned as soon as they set foot at the prison gates to ensure that each person entering is checked.

As well as x-ray security machines being used to search for drugs, the scanners can also be used to check for the presence of mobile phones, weapons, or other illegal items. This approach can be adopted to do both internal body-searched, and to check the contents of gifts and edibles.

The core purpose is to get to improve our security system, and thereby better tackle violence and drugs. In January 2020, UK prisons received £28 million to be spent on ‘game-changing’ advanced X-ray technology in prisons. This is initially being rolled out across 16 prisons, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Winchester; but by investing as much as we can in getting the best and most updated industrial radiography equipment for our prisons, we can have huge impacts prison security


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