May 1, 2018 11:25 am

Body scanners operational at EMDC, two years after announcement

Razor wire fence lines the outside of the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, a maximum security prison on Exeter Road.

Andrew Russell / Global News

After years of waiting, the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre has finally received a full-body scanner.

The full-body scanners are intended to make sure that inmates don’t bring drugs or weapons inside the prison.

Lawyer Kevin Egan, who represents EMDC inmates involved in a lawsuit about conditions at the jail, tells 980 CFPL that he originally heard the scanner was to be fully operational on March 31.

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“There had been an announcement that it was installed and operational as of March 31st but the information I had was that in fact it wasn’t fully operational,” he said. “That it was only being used for some functions at that point.”

READ MORE: London police investigate another inmate death at EMDC

In a statement to 980 CFPL, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said the scanner was operational March 31.

“All inmates were scanned through the Regional Intermittent Centre body scanner prior to March 31,” said Andrew Morrison. “All correctional facilities have operational full body scanners with the exception of the Fort Frances Jail – work is underway to install a full body scanner at the Fort Frances facility.”

Morrison says EMDC now has two full body scanners on-site. The ministry does not have any plans for additional body scanners at the jail.

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After years of empty promises, Egan is happy to finally see a new body scanner at EMDC.

“It’s been years, literally years since the ministry promised these body scanners and they kept announcing new dates for its arrival and installation and then a long period of time would go by and a new date would be announced,” he said.

There have been at least 10 inmate deaths at EMDC since 2009.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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