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BOP Visitors Subjected to Ion Scan

A memo has been posted alerting the population at USP-Lompoc [federal prison in Calif.] that a pilot program has been implemented whereby visitors will be scanned with a nuclear ion machine that detects "drug use". There are graduated penalties for those visitors who fail this space-age drug test, ranging from 48 hours exclusion from visiting privileges for the first "offense" to 180 days for the fourth.

This machine purportedly costs in the 6- or 7-figure range and is similar to the new airport detectors that sniff for explosive residue.

Already, visitors who do not even use drugs have been barred. If someone is sitting on a public bus in close proximity to a pot smoker, that innocent bus rider may come up positive on this machine when it sniffs minute traces of marijuana smoke in the clothing.

In the memo I saw, there is no provision requiring prison staff to clear this machine.

-- M.C., Federal Prisoner

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