Last week, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced that Cook County Jail will be the first correctional facility in the United States to use the RadPRO SecurPASS scanning machines. Cook County has purchased 4 of these machines at a cost of $940,500. The machines are currently located in the jail's two maximum-security buildings and in both the men's and women's receiving rooms where inmates are first processed when they are brought to the jail. Currently, the jail uses the L-3 detectors that are used at airports. The new devices allows officers to better detect contraband smuggled in through body cavities. If will be especially helpful in detecting drugs being smuggled into the jail. This new technology will make the need to conduct strip searches less likely. This is important because in 2006 a class action lawsuit was filed concerning strip searches in the jail. In November of 2010, that lawsuit was settled for $55.3 million. Roughly 250,000 people were compensated in the class action lawsuit. In 2008 a court ruled that the jail's policy of conducting strip searches of inmates who were being released as being improper and unconstitutional. Dart stated that strip searches will still be conducted when officers feel they have probable cause to proceed with such searches.
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