Recently Enacted Legislation: Body Imaging Scanning Equipment at Rikers Island

Governor Cuomo has signed legislation into law that will allow for the use of full-body scanning equipment to detect dangerous contraband, such as ceramic blades, that cannot be found by metal detectors at Rikers Island. This bill was supported by the City Bar’s Corrections and Community Reentry Committee as a necessary measure to ensure the safety of incarcerated individuals, Department of Corrections employees and visitors. While the Committee believes scanning the incarcerated population is a necessary first step, in order to tackle this problem in a comprehensive way, correctional officers and staff also should be subjected to full body scanning. The Committee has recommended revisiting the legislation earlier than the five year sunset date currently proposed in order to ensure that the use of body scanners solely on incarcerated people is expeditiously reducing slashings and stabbings, and if not, that the scanning should be expanded to include correctional officers and staff.