Banned airport full-body scanners to be used at prisons

BY Dave Sloan  May 26, 2014 at 5:16 PM EST

TSA Supervisor Patricia Granese reviews an image collected during a demonstration of the Rapiscan Backscatter advanced imaging technology machine at Logan International airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Friday, March 5, 2010.

TSA Supervisor Patricia Granese reviews an image collected during a demonstration of the Rapiscan Backscatter advanced imaging technology machine at Logan International airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Friday, March 5, 2010.


The Transportation Security Administration plans on placing 171 full-body scanners, which were removed from airports in 2013, in local and state jails and prisons, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Intended to detect potentially harmful objects underneath clothing, the TSA scanners were banned in 2013 after travelers and civil rights groups complained that the machines were an invasion of privacy. The body scanners can display a controversial graphic image of a scanned passenger that is visible to a security agent.

Each scanner costs between $130,000 and $170,000. TSA officials worked out an agreement with local law enforcement agencies to allow them to purchase the banned machines for a fraction of the price under a federal surplus program. The TSA reported that 154 of the scanners have already been transferred to several locations including Arkansas, New York and Michigan.

As of 2014, airport security has eliminated the technology and has introduced new body scanning software that only displays a cartoon image of a scanned person.