CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Commissioners have approved a contract to add a body scanning machine at the Clearfield County Jail.

Proponents of this measure say it will help strengthen security. 

Warden David Gallagher said in an interview in August the jail doesn’t have anything at the entrance inmates and staff use when entering the facility.

“What we currently have is nothing and the need is definitely there for the body scanner,” Gallagher said. “There are several brands that we’re looking into. It’s just a matter of finding the one that best suits our needs.” 

The body scanner will be set up for use by staff and inmates as they enter the jail. There is presently a metal detector at the entrance used by the public.

Recently the jail has seen multiple overdoses by inmates, with back-to-back incidences occurring in July. On July 6, correctional officers in the prison responded to the nonfatal overdoses of two female inmates who admitted to using fentanyl they received from another inmate. During a separate incident on July 8, Clearfield County EMS responded to a call for another female inmate who was suffering from an apparent overdose. However, resuscitation measures failed and the woman died.

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The machine costs $130,000 and comes from Secure Technology Value Solutions of State College. According to commissioners, monies received from a settlement following a lawsuit filed against major pharmaceutical companies accused of driving the opioid crisis will cover half the cost of the body scanner. The remainder of the expense will be covered by Clearfield County general funds.