After years of backlash, the TSA removed the controversial screening machines that had the capability of revealing too much in their images. They weren’t scrapped entirely. They are now being transferred to state and local prisons across the country.
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. The remaining 96 scanners are still being stored in the warehouses of scanner manufacturer Rapiscan.
“TSA and the vendor are working with other government agencies interested in receiving the units for their security mission needs and for use in a different environment,” TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said.
TSA owned about 250 of the screening machines at its peak — valued at about $40 million — before removing them from airports in the first half of 2013 in response to pressure over the virtually nude images it created of passengers.
The machines were banned in Europe. The TSA trivialized health and safety concerns until Congress got involved, but, somehow, after sitting in a warehouse for a while, they are magically okay to use on prisoners.
The very real health concerns were never addressed and will become a problem if these machines are widely used on a regular basis.
The systemic repercussions of widespread application of X-Ray backscatter systems in the various private penal colonies of the united states, while financially sound at its salesmans word, certainly isnt a long term bet to hedge. Incidences of debilitating cancers will need medical treatment for both guards and prisoners alike as has been shown in the incidences of cancer for certain groups of TSA screeners. Liability for introducing a prisoner or employee to a cancer suspect agent will likely follow the course of most other folly of american scientific perversion in the hands of government.
It will likely be assigned to the government, who in turn will insist it was the technology, and in turn the manufacturer will absolve itself through a complex series of medical puppet shows, out of court settlements, and evasive restructuring practices so as to ensure no real harm comes to the corporation. Once your sentence is complete, and you emerge from prison, the biblical retribution set upon you is now the denial of employment, housing, food stamps, medicare, and finally a malignant cancer risk substantially greater than the rest of society as your corrections system applied background scanners quietly and incessantly for the duration of your incarceration.
America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The consequences could be staggering.