Normal Search Procedures

Except at correctional camps, persons entering a facility shall pass through a metal detector and all items, including handbags, briefcases, etc. will be searched. A hand-frisker may be used when there is difficulty clearing visitors using the walk-through metal detector.

Substance Detection/Ion Scan

Visitors may be subject to ion scanning or other non-intrusive tests for detection of drugs and explosives.

A substance detection/ion scanner test is a search using a handheld collection unit to take surface samples from the person’s hands, clothing, personal items, purses/handbags, packages or any other articles. A positive test result may occur when a person has come in contact with drugs or explosives, knowingly or unknowingly, whether that person has used the substance or not. If the test is positive, a second test of the same area is done.

A confirmed positive test or test refusal will result in the denial of entry into any correctional facility for two consecutive days.

Metal Detector

You will have to pass through a metal detector.

Clothing containing metal, such as decorative buckles, buttons or studs, or wire, including but not limited to underwire bras, may cause the metal detector to alert and require further processing.

If you wear clothing containing metal, you may have to go through a limited visual search, personal item search, or strip search before entry into the facility will be permitted. If you choose not to go through the additional search, your visit will be denied. Your decision to decline to be searched will not affect future visits.

Special processing arrangements can be made for visitors who are the recipient of a pacemaker or defibrillator and do  not wish to pass through the walk-through metal detector.

Limited Visual/Personal Item

If a metal detector alerts and the visitor cannot reveal or remove the detected object due to its personal nature, staff may pursue several search options.

If you do not want to be searched, you will be allowed to leave. Deciding to leave instead of being searched will not hurt your ability to visit in the future.

Limited Visual Search

A limited visual search is a search done in a private area where an officer or staff member of the same sex visually inspects the area in question. The visitor will lift any clothing or under garments necessary to show the staff that no contraband is hidden on the visitor’s person in the area in question.

If a staff member of the same sex is not available, a personal item search is conducted instead.

Personal Item Search

A search of personal items may be conducted as an alternative to a limited visual search or when a staff member of the same sex is not available. Visitors are allowed to enter a private area or room to remove items of a personal nature, such as braces and underwire bras and given a paper bag in which to place the personal items.

Visitors are also allowed to wear a large white shirt as an outer covering during reprocessing procedures. The visitor will be reprocessed via a hand scanner or walk-through metal detector.

Bags and their contents will be discreetly inspected for contraband.

Strip Search

When visitors to a correctional facility have complied with all of the search processes and a supervisor determines that further processing is warranted, the Superintendent or officer of the day may authorize a consensual strip search after reviewing the matter.

  • The superintendent must have reasonable cause to believe that contraband is concealed on the person based upon specific and explainable facts and inferences reasonably drawn from those facts.
  • The visitor has the option to submit to the requested search procedure or to refuse. If a visitor refuses to submit to a strip search the visit will be denied.
  • Refusing to submit to a strip search is not proof of guilt and future visits cannot be denied because you refused a strip search.