Monday, April 28, 2008

BOP Suspends Use of Ion Spectrometry Drug Testing

Hello Friends:

The good news for April was the ION detection or Ion Spectrometry devices used on people visiting imprisoned loved ones is over -- for now. Citing computer malfunctions the manufacturers are working on fixing, a memo posted at Seagoville Federal Correctional Facility can be read here.

A lot of people worked on this issue, from prisoners to their loved ones who were turned away due to testing positive for illegal drugs. We of the November Coalition have been working on publicizing the problem, and contacting our leaders for action for many years.

The bad news is the Bureau of Prisons has revised some visitation policy. You can download the Program Statement -- in which the Bureau of Prisons wants us also to know -- we don't have any constitutional right to visitation: 5510_012.pdf

Troubling provisions that would allow for a visual strip search of people that want to visit their loved ones in prison, and also new policy that would allow a visitor to have to be drug tested at any time before, during or after the visit are some of the details in the document of new federal prison policies.

Meanwhile, the people that serve the prison machine, making regular delivery of items to the prison - or visits for many reasons are not subject to drug tests, or strip searches. People who have regular access to the prisons, and that includes guards are the way most drugs get into the prisons.

For people that have the unfortunate situation to have a loved one in prison to bear the brunt of policies designed to keep illegal drugs out of prison isn't any surprise, but an injustice that continues.

If the federal bureau of prisons drug tests you, or subjects you to a visual strip search, because you wanted to visit your loved one, we want to know

To see what a visual strip search by the BOP entails, check out this video.

To see human behavior and bad policy colliding watch this one.

It's not too early to complain, in fact before we are forced to expose more scandals involving our mothers and prison visitation problems, citizens can ask their federal judicial leaders to look at the new program statement. Do taxpayers want to pay to drug test moms, fathers and children of federal prisoners? Do they want to sanction strip searches of us? I bet not.

You might notice I moved the Blog to E Blogger in hopes that comments won't be hijacked by spammers. I look forward to blogging regularly, listening to your shared comments on a better program than previous.

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Anonymous Tom Murlowski said...

For a video update on this story, see "Prisons Scrapping Ion Detection Machines" from CW33 News, Dallas, TX, 5/7/08, linked from our home page at:

May 9, 2008 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Drug Stopper said...

If you want to visit your convicts fine but as you pointed out you have NO right for visitation. Therefore, follow the rules that are present. Also in case your interested all staff are searched every day and have to pass the same metal detectors as convict families. The fact is drugs are introduced through the visiting room and mail far more than by staff. There is a way to prove it. The Bureau should stop all physical contact with visitors and have drug dogs present in every lobby and every mail room . Then if drugs get in I would agree with you. It will be a great day when they bring back the detector and stop the scum from bringing drugs in no matter who they are.

March 10, 2009 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just so you know the ion drug screening at fbops is back and still screwing people out of their visits,even when they are not drug carrying or even do drugs so to drug stopper you should get your facts straight.I have seen senty year old grandmothers test positive with that piece of junk machine.Someone needs to put a stop to this thing.

January 11, 2010 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Nora said...

Anon -- we have heard that pitiful news, and urge people to look up the phone numbers of the TV news stations, and newspapers of the area. If you are denied a visit, call them and ask if they will do a story on the ION machines. If we are going to put so much faith and tax dollars into security machines, the least they can do is work right.

People should immediately call their federal representatives, and both of their senators.

Have media and your legislators phone numbers, and the phone number of the prison. My mother called and insisted on talking to the warden.

Why don't they use them on their employees? We know the answer to that one. The machines don't work to detect illegal drugs.

Nora of November

January 12, 2010 12:03 AM  

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