Body Cavity Search - Visual Vs. Manual

Visual Vs. Manual

Items can be concealed in a number of body cavities. For example, objects may be concealed by inserting them into the rectum. Illegal drugs can be placed in condoms and temporarily stored in the colon. Cylinders such as cigar tubes are used to hide money, intravenous syringes, and knives. Duplicate handcuff keys can be concealed in many body orifices. These goods are considered valuable inside a prison and can pose a security risk to staff and inmates at such facilities.

In a thorough visual body cavity search, a flashlight is used to illuminate body orifices, including nostrils, ears, mouth, navel, penis (urethra and foreskin) or vagina, and rectum. Generally, the detainee is required to manipulate these body parts so that they can be examined.

During manual body cavity searches, body orifices are probed using fingers or the entire hand. The circumstance in which these inspections may be done is often restricted. For example, they are done on individuals refusing to offer to consent to a visual body cavity search or in situations where there is strong evidence to suspect the presence of contraband.

The cavity search has proven ineffective in the prevention of smuggling objects as it can't detect objects in the intestines or stomach. It has become normal for authorities to isolate individuals in a monitored environment until they pass excretia and/or to x-ray the individual as it is less invasive and psychologically damaging.

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