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Controversial TSA Nudie X-Ray Machines Sent To Prisons 108

An anonymous reader writes "The controversial TSA backscatter X-ray machines are being sent to prisons. According to Federal times, 'The controversial airport screening machines that angered privacy advocates and members of Congress for its revealing images are finding new homes in state and local prisons across the country, according to the Transportation Security Administration.' 154 backscatter X-rays have already ended up in Iowa, Louisiana, and Virginia prisons. TSA is working to find homes for the remaining machines. Per the article: '"TSA and the vendor are working with other government agencies interested in receiving the units for their security mission needs and for use in a different environment," TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said.'"
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Controversial TSA Nudie X-Ray Machines Sent To Prisons

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  • Health Concerns (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Agilulf ( 173852 ) <.jfriend. .at.> on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @08:55AM (#47045391)

    Weren't these machines banned in Europe over health concerns from radiation exposure? I know that these are prisoners but shouldn't the health effects of such a machine be studied prior to deploying stuff like this out into the world? http://science.howstuffworks.c... []

  • Re:Health Concerns (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:18AM (#47045489)
    It damages your corneas quite rapidly. I saw a poster at the ARVO annual meeting a fortnight ago by a researcher called Masami Kojima. Basically, there's lots of things that emit that wavelength -- your car's radar cruise control being one that I remember -- but that's pretty weak. These scanners... not so weak. It increases the temperature of your corneas as your eyes absorb the radiation; a few degrees can cause a fair bit of damage. You so don't want to be stuck in one, and I'd worry about cumulative exposure if I were a really regular traveler.
  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:22AM (#47045519)

    . So modern prisons focus on re-constituting the citizen to full capacity. Because it works better than punishing.

    Always relevant in these discussions []:
    According to the Humanitarian theory, to punish a man because he deserves it, and as much as he deserves, is mere revenge, and, therefore, barbarous and immoral. It is maintained that the only legitimate motives for punishing are the desire to deter others by example or to mend the criminal. When this theory is combined, as frequently happens, with the belief that all crime is more or less pathological, the idea of mending tails off into that of healing or curing and punishment becomes therapeutic. Thus it appears at first sight that we have passed from the harsh and self-righteous notion of giving the wicked their deserts to the charitable and enlightened one of tending the psychologically sick.......

    My contention is that this doctrine, merciful though it appears, really means that each one of us, from the moment he breaks the law, is deprived of the rights of a human being.

    The reason is this. The Humanitarian theory removes from Punishment the concept of Desert. But the concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust. I do not here contend that the question ‘Is it deserved?’ is the only one we can reasonably ask about a punishment. We may very properly ask whether it is likely to deter others and to reform the criminal. But neither of these two last questions is a question about justice. There is no sense in talking about a ‘just deterrent’ or a ‘just cure’. We demand of a deterrent not whether it is just but whether it will deter. We demand of a cure not whether it is just but whether it succeeds. Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case’.

    Making all criminals subject to a clinical internment: Im sure that couldnt possibly go wrong. Insane asylums of the early 1900s? Unit 731? Josef Mengele? Pre-emptive organ harvesting? Nah, Im sure your idea would work out fine.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @09:23AM (#47045523) Journal

    What happened to the good ole days when these contraptions were vetted on prisoner populations before being approved for widespread public use?

  • by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:36AM (#47046129)

    I'm not sure how correctional correctional facilities are. I think some people will stop doing crime when they get out because they've had a theoretical punishment turn into an actual one they've experienced. A 20 yr old might think: "oh I won't get caught I'm too smart" and even if I do jails have become so easy now that big deal I'll be bored for a few years. But after having actually experienced it, and having things they didn't even think about happening (like loosing family members while in, or having their kids grow up without them etc) they don't want to go through it again. It isn't necessarily that they've been "corrected" from their bad behaviour just their relative weighting of the alternatives have been adjusted: it is no longer worth the time to do the crime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:50AM (#47046283)

    It depends on the person. Some people live in areas where there are no jobs, period, so in order to make money, criminal activities have to be done to put food on the plate.

    Other people just were not raised in an environment other than "they have it, you don't, you take it".

    Finally there are the drug addicted types who just have no higher functioning other than to grab something for their next high.

    Yes, there are the hardened criminals. Those and the habitually violent ones are the ones that need to be separated from society.

    However, I wonder something. For a fraction of the cost of the SWAT teams and weaponry, we could give every single American citizen minimum wage, even if they do nothing at all but watch Springer re-runs. That is about $22,000 a year. It costs more to keep someone in prison, even in a minimum security lockup.

    Couple this with drug decriminalization, even though one side would be screaming about "the dole" or a welfare state, it would go far to reduce crime and boost mental health in general. You build morale in a country, people start policing themselves.

    In the long run, it would save money and reduce crime. It is sad, but people have to turn to crime to feed themselves in the US, and if this were not the case, the cost of this stipend to all US citizens would be a drop in the bucket compared to the financial losses due to crime and having to keep buying the latest/great security gadget.

    Blecch, I feel like a leftie, but sometimes paying for a social safety net is as important to national security as finding another 10,000 RPM fully auto pistol.

  • by erikkemperman ( 252014 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @11:04AM (#47046427)

    Decriminalisation of drugs would also go some way toward slightly less insane levels of incarceration? Having 5% of the population the US account for 25% of the world's prisoners. That is just batshit unhinged.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.