Junked Rapiscan scanners get second life

Since the radiation-emitting, independently untested Rapiscan strip-search scanners were removed from airports last year — at the cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers — what’s happened to them? 

Well, surprise, surprise, they’re being forced on yet another vulnerable part of the population, one with no power to object: prisoners.

So far, 154 of the machines have been transferred to prisons in states including Iowa, Virginia, and Louisiana. It’s a good fit because privacy concerns raised by airport passengers do not apply in many cases to prisoners, according to TSA.

Arkansas received five of the scanners in early May for use by local sheriffs as well, according to TSA.

And, of course, just as with the useless “puffer” machines, the clunkers are also being stored in warehouses:

The remaining 96 scanners are still being stored in the warehouses of scanner manufacturer Rapiscan.

Never mind that the scanners don’t work; when did that ever get in the way of a bureaucracy doubling down on bad policies? And since prisoners are treated like slaves in this country, the imposition of worthless, potentially injurious technology is perfectly in keeping with American values.

(Cross-posted at ABombazine)

  • RonBonner

    So how long before TSA hires Bergdahl?

  • Guest

    Killers and Rapists are scum. But giving them cancer is morally objectionable. But you know…9/11

    • Daisiemae

      Yes, 911 excuses any heinous and morally reprehensible act the government can imagine.

      And no matter how heinous and reprehensible the acts committed under that umbrella, all the people bow down chanting “911….911….911.”

      That sounds like the definition of a cult to me.

  • Geez – I wish you would get it straight. The pictures on this article are from an L-3 scanner, not a Rapiscan. The Rapiscan is much more explicit. See my avatar for more detail or look here:

    • That photo was provided by Rapiscan.

      Regardless of how explicit this image or that image or that image or the other image is, my position remains the same: scanners are wrong. They are a violation of the 4th Amendment. Period.

  • Susan Richart

    Did they “turn up the volume” on the machines being sent to jails and prisons:


    • RonBonner

      Just guessing but I suspect the prison machines are of a different design.

      I was trying to find the statement by the Denver area TSA official who stated that the Whole Body Imager’s were very revealing. Don’t recall the guys name and haven’t found the statement either. It’s been a few years ago.

      • I remember that, Ron. I’ve been looking for it, too, and also can’t find it. Ask Bill Fisher. I bet he knows.

        • RonBonner

          I don’t have Bill’s contact. I’ll dig around at POV, I remember it being discussed there.