N.H. Senate Passes Bill to Install Body Scanners at N.H. Prisons and Jails

May 19, 2016

Credit Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to spend nearly $2 million on body scanners for state prisons and county jails is heading to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's desk. Senators approved the legislation Thursday on a party line vote.

Republicans, like Andy Sanborn of Bedford, told colleagues that making anyone who sets foot in a jail or prison prison pass though scanners is a way to deal with an obvious problem.

"Is there anyone in this room that does not think we have problem with drugs in New Hampshire prisons and New Hampshire jails? And if we think there are problems of drugs being in jails, shouldn't we try to do something to stop it?"

Democrats wanted the senate to hold off on supporting the house-backed bill until they had more information.

Under the proposal, the state would spend about a $1 million for six scanners.

Three would by used at the men's prison in Concord, two at the Berlin prison and one at the new women's prison, which has yet to open.

The bill also includes $740,000 in grants to help county jails purchase scanners.