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Prisoners and families exposed to undocumented, possibly risky radiation levels

Radiation safety feature of prison x-ray scanner is being overridden

Inmates and families exposed to undocumented, possibly risky radiation levels

NationalPrisonHealthYimes of Malta  Mark Laurence Zammit    Prison officials are being instructed to override a security feature embedded in x-ray scanners that warns them when inmates and visitors are being exposed to excessive levels of radiation.

Several sources told Times of Malta that the high-end scanners in the entrances of prison are equipped with AI that records the amount of radiation each person is exposed to and warns officials when the pre-set limit is reached.

When this happens, officials are instructed to enter a four-digit code (1585) that overrides the security feature, prompting the scanners to perform further x-ray scans without keeping record of each individual’s radiation intake.

On Sunday morning, prisoners’ rights activist Peppi Azzopardi released a video revealing details about the practice.

When the scanner detects that a person has reached the radiation limit, it ceases to perform scans,” he said.

“But they use the code to cheat the software into taking more scans.”

Azzopardi also said officials sometimes input the code straight away.

“Not only should they record radiation from the scanner; they should also have records of any radiation the inmate might have absorbed elsewhere, like in hospital, so they have a clear picture of how risky the scan will be.”

In the video, Azzopardi also demanded an ‘immediate investigation’ into this practice.

“I have more information that I’m ready to present to whoever will do the investigations,” he said.
Inmates are made to go through the scanner, not only when they are first admitted, but almost every time they return to prison from court, hospital or prison leave. Their families and other visitors too, including lawyers, are forced to go through the scanner almost every time they enter prison.
…………………  In regulations published on the use of x-ray body scanners in prison, the UK Justice Ministry strictly prohibits x-ray scans on visitors and family members, and demands that each scan is fully justified, arguing that “the exposure may only occur when the benefit to the individual or society outweighs the health detriment that may be caused to the individual”.UK policy says that for a scan to be justified, there must be “intelligence or reasonable suspicion that the prisoner in internally concealing contraband” and when “there are no other means of determining the suspected contraband, for example by means of a full or rubdown search”…………Times of Malta sent questions to the prison authorities, asking why officials are instructed to override the system, how the prison keeps record of how much radiation each person was exposed to, how the prison justifies the amount of scans it performs, why some people are searched after the scan, and how the prison protects its wardens from radiation………………………

November 29, 2021 - Posted by | EUROPE, radiation

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