Prison visitors petition Ottawa to scrap sensitive drug scanners

Prison visitors petition Ottawa to scrap sensitive drug scanners

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Caroline Brasseur started this petition to Canadian Government

When going to visit a loved one in jail , things can be stressful already. A false positive on a electronic sentry called an ion mobility spectrometry device isn’t the best way to start a visit . That single false positive false positive reading can lead to a loss of visiting rights , stigmatization and general demoralization. 

The steps some family members have to take like Lysol all their belongings , wear gloves when cleaning “designated visiting clothes” , having to get your car washed and detailed weekely ( to make sure nothing came in contact with any residue ) , or even going to the extents of putting a plastic bag on your car seat and outdoor shoes . 

Even despite the obsessive measures , you still have the risk of testing positive. 

The correctional Service of Canada pressed the ion scanners into service in 1996. They can detect particulate down to a single nanogram ( about the size of a single human cell ) . Thwy subject the swabbed material to an electrical charge and measure the subsequent movements of ions. Each ion moves at a velocity that can help pinpoint its source of material. It’s a quick way of sniffing out residue that could identify those trying to smuggle drugs into jails. A lethal problem that triggers around 30 overdoses a year in federal institutions, according to a correctional service analysis. 

A single thwarted visit canhava devastating impact on inmates ,according to staff member. 

Sensitivity is different from accuracy . The machines often confuse common prescribed drugs with their more illicit relatives . Zantac can ring positive for cocaine.

“It’s clear the ion scammer is a failed experiment.” Fr hannem said. “It’s not keeping drugs out of prison.” 

I myself , got my bracelet tested at Joyceville Institution Ontario. And they found residue of heroin and meth . As soon as I got tested “positive” they asked me if I had any drugs in my vehicle . I was very confused because they didn’t tell me what I was positive for till I said “no of course not” . The CO looks at me and says “ we found traces of heroin and meth on your bracelet” ... all because the night before my sister and I slept at a motel near institution (mistake) and I put my bracelet down when I took a shower , it must have picked up the particles. Of course they don’t believe me . I was very lucky that day I still got to see my loved one . Although the visit got delayed by an hour which is a lot when you never see your loved one and the visits are timed. 

Inmates should go through full body scanners before and after they meet with visitors. 

Please help make a change 

 

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