Coffee County Jail uses new tech to prevent COVID-19 spread, catch contraband

Local News

NEW BROCKTON, Ala. (WDHN) — The Coffee County Jail installed state-of-the-art inmate processing equipment this January.

With the on-going pandemic, the Tek 84 is designed to minimize contact between the correctional officer and prisoner and will be paid through federal CARES Act funds.

There are less than 10 Tek 84s statewide. The unit at the Coffee County Jail is the only one in the Wiregrass. Correctional officers use it to process an inmate instead of a strip body search.

It detects any possible contraband on the individual. It can even be detected in the inmate’s body cavities.

In addition, it takes an inmate’s temperature, possibly signaling someone with COVID-19.

“There’s different things when you see a cell phone in his pocket,” “You can see the taser on his belt, the keys in his pocket, and with this officer, you can see a bullet in his stomach, see it there there,” correctional officer Sgt. Kyle Ethridge said while examining sample scans.

Since it reduces contact between the correctional officer and inmate, the $160,000 price tag is being paid through federal CARES Act funds. Reducing the contact between the correctional officer and the inmate being processed creates a safer and healthier environment.

“A lot of contraband gets into the jail or has gotten into the jail, and since we’ve had it installed, we have found numerous pieces of contraband,” Chief Deputy Ronnie Whitworth said.

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