How new technology takes the guesswork out of inmate screening
New AI features highlight and color-code foreign objects on or in the body to make full-body scanning faster, easier and more accurate
Sponsored by ADANI Systems
By Becky Berry Johnson for Corrections1 BrandFocus
The greatest difficulty for correctional facilities is not keeping inmates in, but keeping contraband out. Drugs, alcohol, weapons, currency and cellphones make their way into inmates’ hands through smuggling by employees and visitors, as well as more inventive methods.
Regardless of how inmates come into the possession of contraband, the presence of such items presents a safety concern for correctional officers, facility staff and other inmates. X-ray screening is a proven method for identifying and intercepting these illicit items before they can be used to cause harm.
The Conpass Smart DV body scanner is the newest tool in the contraband detection arsenal from ADANI Systems. This new smart scanner includes an artificial intelligence application that highlights the X-ray images with color-coding based for easier threat detection.
The basics of full-body X-ray scanning
ADANI Systems introduced options for whole body screening with the Conpass DV full-body X-ray security scanner. Offering customizable views and six scanning modes, the Conpass DV allows operators to vary the scanning quality based upon the threat level of the individual being scanned. The full-body X-ray screening allows correctional facilities to identify items both in and on the body, such as weapons, cellphones, currency and drugs.
A seven-second pass-through delivers a dose of standard radiation at 25 microsieverts per scan, which is 400 times lower than the dose delivered by a regular chest X-ray. This low-dose emission allows correctional facilities to use the X-ray scanner up to 1,000 times per year on an individual. Scanning at the higher image setting emits 2.00 microsieverts per scan, which allows for scanning of individuals up to 125 times per year.
Coupled with ADANI Systems’ patented DruGuard drug-detection software, the Conpass DV outlines suspected areas of drug concealment within the body, providing an extra level of detection for ingested and inserted objects.
One customer looks to boost its success by asking for enhanced screening capabilities
Faced with the ever-growing contraband problem in its correctional facilities and outdated screening equipment, the Arkansas Department of Corrections invested in two Conpass DV scanners with Druguard. The scanner quickly prevented the introduction of new contraband into its facilities by visitors.
“We have seen a drop in contraband,” said Major Randy Shores, emergency preparedness coordinator for ADC. “If you come into our facilities as a visitor and you can’t pass the X-ray machine, you have two choices: You can either go home or be arrested. So, they pretty much go home. I can’t tell you how many of those we’ve turned around on visitation weekend. The X-ray machine is a really good tool.”
In its first three weeks of using the scanners, the ADC also identified a correctional officer attempting to smuggle contraband into one of its facilities. Shores says the scanning offered by the Conpass DV led to a newfound respect among facility staff for entrance screening and contraband rules.
“They take it a lot more seriously,” he said, “including what they can bring in and what they can’t bring in. It makes us do a better job.”
Initial success in curbing contraband smuggling by visitors and staff alike led the ADC to add six more scanners to its facilities. But even with the added screening capabilities provided by the Conpass DV, Shores said there were areas where additional detection would be helpful. ADC reached out and asked the company to look into enhancing the scanner.
“They built a really good tool, but they’re always looking to make it better by listening to the people in the field who are using it,” said Shores. “We learned there were other things the machine couldn’t do, and the company said, ‘We’ll work on that.’”
Color-coded highlighting adds a new level of detection
Building on the capabilities of the Conpass DV, ADANI Systems’ new Conpass Smart DV body scanner detects contraband both in and on the body, but with a few new features that make identifying contraband easier.
Using artificial intelligence threat detection technology, the smart scanner identifies items on or in the body and highlights the X-ray images with color-coding based on the following four categories:
- Elements of clothing – green.
- Electronic devices – blue.
- Dangerous items/weapons – red.
- Other items not belonging to the human body (drugs) – orange.
The color-coding system differentiates between various materials and overlays the black-and-white X-ray image with highlighting based on the material and likely contraband type. Simply put, an item deemed by the system to be electronic – likely a cellphone – would be highlighted in one color (blue), and something deemed to be a threat, such as a weapon or drugs, would be highlighted differently (red).
“It not only detects the foreign objects, but it also color codes them to assist the operator in determining what is in fact suspicious or not,” said Scott Ortolani, chief operations officer of ADANI Systems.
The scanner also includes a material discrimination feature that categorizes areas as organic or inorganic based on the absorption of the X-rays and color-codes the images. This automatic differentiation between organic material (body parts, food), and inorganic materials, such as metals, helps officers quickly spot suspicious areas or items.
“It’s not a color image like you would think if you took a photograph – black-and-white versus color. The color image now relates to the material discrimination,” said Ortolani. “The scanners measure the atomic number of the material to distinguish organic and inorganic materials, and that’s where it gets color coded.”
Along with these contraband-discerning AI features, the Conpass Smart DV speeds up the screening process, shaving the pass-through from seven seconds to five, and its four-joint construction makes disassembly and relocation easy and convenient. And, like its predecessor, its high-level detection capability is coupled with a low risk of harm to individuals being scanned and those operating the scanner, emitting low radiation with each pass-through.
X-ray security scanning has been a proven method of contraband interdiction for many years. With the Conpass Smart DV, ADANI Systems continues to improve upon this technology with the specific purpose of keeping correctional facilities free of contraband and safe for correctional facility officers and staff, inmates and visitors.