Ion scanner to help detect contraband at Sarnia Jail

Sarnia Jail. ( file photo)

An added layer of security is being installed at the Sarnia Jail.

The facility will be equipped with an ion scanner to help detect contraband, including dangerous fentanyl.

Correctional Officer and OPSEU Local 128 President Joel Bissonnette is happy to have the extra protection, noting they’ll no longer have to use scanners in London or Windsor.

“No matter which jail you work at, [contraband] is always an issue,” said Bissonnette. “No matter what tools we come up with, the inmates will always look for ways to smuggle contraband in. With the tools that we’ve been getting, I have seen a lot of improvement but whatever tool we come up with, they’ll continuously try and find ways to defeat those tools. With the different resources that we have, it makes that job a lot more difficult for them to get stuff past us.”

Bissonnette isn’t sure when the device will be installed, noting they will have to train staff on how to use it.

The scanners will be active at all 25 adult correctional facilities across Ontario after the province introduced the measure as a pilot project at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre in 2018.

The province is hopeful this will build on the success of technology used to detect contraband cell phones.