NSW

Body Orifice Security Scanner: The new way Goulburn jail stops inmates smuggle in mobile phones

A body scanning chair that can detect a piece of metal as small as a staple hidden inside a body orifice is the latest piece of security technology to be introduced at Goulburn jail.

The Body Orifice Security Scanner, or the BOSS Chair, is now in use at Goulburn Correctional Centre to help prevent the smuggling of contraband into the prison.

It follows revelations that a prisoner who escaped from the prison last year used a mobile phone to take selfies and post on social media during his jail term.

The man organised his escape using the phone, he had apparently acquired in prison.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the BOSS Chair can detect metal on inmates who sit on the chair, including SIM cards and mobile phones, whether switched on or off.

"Mobile phones are a threat to the security of prisons and we take a zero tolerance approach to them," he said.

Advertisement

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the smuggling of mobile phones into correctional facilities is a serious concern.

"The problem is that mobile phones are getting smaller all the time. That makes them easier to hide in a body orifice. As inmates become smarter, we have to get smarter too."

Commissioner Severin that the BOSS chair may also be used for people visiting inmates to stop contraband being smuggled into correctional facilities.

"We need to be in a position where we can say with confidence that we can control any external communication," he said.

The BOSS chair, described as non-invasive, is already used by correctional facilities in Western Australia and Queensland.

Goulburn prison is the first to receive the chair but Commissioner Severin said he "would not hesitate" to introduce the body scanners into all NSW maximum and medium security prisons.

The BOSS chair is made in the United States and representatives from American manufacturing company Ranger have been training staff at Goulburn prison in the use of the chair.

The chairs are sold internationally, mainly to prisons, but they are also used in mines in Africa to detect staff attempting to steal gold and by security guards at American amusement parks.

The introduction of the BOSS chair comes as the NSW Government flags the possibility of extending its mobile phone jamming trial to the Goulburn correctional centre.

Advertisement