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Issued: 7 January 2016
Corrective Services NSW continues to improve the technology used in the fight against contraband in prisons across the state. Goulburn Correctional Centre now has a body scanning chair, known as the BOSS.
BOSS stands for Body Orifice Security Scanner and its use at Goulburn is in addition to the imminent introduction of full body scanners in all maximum and medium security prisons.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the BOSS Chair is widely used globally for its ability to locate 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."
"The BOSS chair is currently used by Western Australia and Queensland Corrections and will contribute to a safer environment for officers and inmates here in Goulburn," Minister Elliott said.
Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) Commissioner Peter Severin said, "The problem is that mobile phones are getting smaller all the time. That makes them easier to hide in a body orifice. The BOSS chair was recommended by an independent review of security at Goulburn, which already has one of our phone detection poles. As inmates become smarter, we have to get smarter too."
Isac Salido visited Goulburn to train staff in the use of the chair. He works for American manufacturer Ranger and says thousands of the chairs have been sold around the world, mainly to prisons. It has other uses, including in mines in Africa where it is used to detect staff attempting to smuggle out gold. It is also sold to amusement parks in America, so security guards on the gates can detect and seize weapons.
"The chair will detect metal in small quantities, down to the size of a staple," said Mr Salido.
Ferro-magnetic detection devices such as the BOSS chair and poles, are in addition to the use by Corrective Services NSW of K9s, including mobile phone sniffer dogs, and frequent physical searches by staff of prisoners, visitors, cells and all common areas in prisons.
The Government has announced that the mobile phone jamming trial at Lithgow prison will be extended for another three years. It will be expanded next year to include another prison, possibly Goulburn Correctional Centre, for a period of two years.