No choice for exposure to radiation at AMC

capitolm 18 February 2010 55

My family member is in remand at the AMC and now will be subjected to several doses of radiation per week as they will now be x-rayed through SOTARS after every visit. While they would prefer to be subjected to strip searches – they have been told they must go through the x-ray or have a non-contact visit through the glass booth. Do they not have the right to express health concerns because they are a prisoner? I can not find anywhere – where the radiation council has approved the use of this equipment for use, yet it was in use last weekend. But not today. What is the point of this machine anyway if it is not going to be used consistently? How can I even begin to oppose its use when there don’t seem to be any publicly available policies on it? I don’t think it’s right that my family member is a guinea pig for the government’s new security screen. My family member is not a drug user and is not in maximum security. Now I have the guilt of knowing what they must further endure when I visit. Family visits and support are an important part of the rehabilitation process for a person in prison and yet my mere presence will be be putting my family member at a measurable health risk.


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55 Responses to No choice for exposure to radiation at AMC
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H1NG0 H1NG0 8:17 am 18 Feb 10

Small amounts of radiation can be a good thing. Look at the Ninja Turtles.

buzz819 buzz819 9:03 am 18 Feb 10

While I understand your concern, YOU have to understand that your family member is in there for being naughty. Unfortunately that means that they are in there with a lot of other people that have also been naughty. (If the courts have decided to remand them then they have been very naughty or naughty on a lot of occasions).

It doesn’t matter if he is a drug user or not, the fact is that there is a high level of drug users in the centre and they will do anything to get drugs in. It picks up more than drugs, ie potential weapons.

I know there are a lot of people that go in there that have the opportunity to use more than when they are outside.

It is the only way that ACT Corrections can try and get on top of the problem. The Corrections officers are the ones on the inside that have to deal with the crims, so I think it should be a way in making it safer for them, yeah?

My advise, suck it up and deal with it, or just do non-contact visits.

chewy14 chewy14 9:13 am 18 Feb 10

Hey look on the bright side.
At least your family member will be protected from large doses of UV radiation for a while.
I hear they can be deadly.

Tooks Tooks 9:39 am 18 Feb 10

Happy to be corrected, but the levels of radiation you’re talking about would be negligible, I would’ve thought.

sloppery sloppery 9:44 am 18 Feb 10

buzz819 said :

While I understand your concern, YOU have to understand that your family member is in there for being naughty. Unfortunately that means that they are in there with a lot of other people that have also been naughty. (If the courts have decided to remand them then they have been very naughty or naughty on a lot of occasions).

It doesn’t matter if he is a drug user or not, the fact is that there is a high level of drug users in the centre and they will do anything to get drugs in. It picks up more than drugs, ie potential weapons.

I know there are a lot of people that go in there that have the opportunity to use more than when they are outside.

It is the only way that ACT Corrections can try and get on top of the problem. The Corrections officers are the ones on the inside that have to deal with the crims, so I think it should be a way in making it safer for them, yeah?

My advise, suck it up and deal with it, or just do non-contact visits.

Well said. They don’t put people in gaol here for nothing. Harden up.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 9:56 am 18 Feb 10

According to the manufacturer of the SOTER scanner system in place at the AMC:
‘The radiation dose of one SOTER RS scan is 2.7 µSv (microsieverts) for males and 2.2 µSv (microsieverts) for females. This is approximately equivalent to a one hour subsonic plane flight at an altitude of 10,000m’.

Does anyone feel guilty about mutant flight stewardesses or their potentially mutant chldren from ongoing radiation exposure on a plane flights?
No, because the impact is trivial and the risk of harm is minimal, so it is deemed an acceptable risk.

Learn more about microsiverts here, from British Airways, or here, from the Canadian Nuclear Power Generator, OPG.
The amount of radiation you get annually from eating a normal diet is approximately 150 times higher than the radiation scan, and the soil itself gives off more radiation over the course of a year than you would get if you visited your husband every day in that same year.

Personally, I like having a Hobson’s Choice on contact visitation in a prison.
You can either exercise the option they give you, or not exercise it and get no contact visit.
That is your only choice.

Northwest9 Northwest9 10:07 am 18 Feb 10

I’ve said it before and ill say it again to anyone who complains about their treatment in that palace they call the “hume hilton”, which as far as I’m concerned is a giant spit in the face of victims wanting justice

The best way to avoid percieved mistreatment in a prison is to NOT BREAK THE LAW.

Quite simple really.

MsCheeky MsCheeky 10:22 am 18 Feb 10

Sent this one off to my friend who is a radiation expert in a govt. dept. that won’t let staff access riotact, and got the following:

“Hmmm. Lots of generalities, non-specifics and acronyms to obscure the facts. What is ‘SOTARS’ anyway? I think this person is using the term ‘x-rayed’ much like people who ‘hoover’ the floor. Does the screening device actually use an x-ray source or an RF source? I couldn’t imagine that an x-ray source for this application would gain approval anywhere – even the use of airport baggage x-ray scanners is strictly controlled to ensure that humans cannot access the x-ray radiation. An RF source, however, such as the new XRF body scanners, is an ideal solution and is as safe as the proverbial out-house.

I reckon its one more reason to avoid going to jail.”

I think my friend and skidbladinir are in agreement. Stop worrying about the ‘xrays’ and focus on the important things.

PigDog PigDog 11:04 am 18 Feb 10

While I don’t have any sympathy for this person, there is a requirement (through a notifiable instrument) that they use the SOTER scanner, and it is publically available:

http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2010-37/current/pdf/2010-37.pdf

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 11:06 am 18 Feb 10

“they have been told they must go through the x-ray OR have a non-contact visit through the glass booth.”
Sounds like a choice to me.
I’m sure victims of crime would have liked a choice.

Ian Ian 12:07 pm 18 Feb 10

They had plenty of choice about the radiation – they blew it when they committed crimes that got them sent to jail (and in the ACT that would take some fairly major crimes and probably repeat offences).

MsCheeky MsCheeky 1:51 pm 18 Feb 10

Ok, nerd friend has been on the job, and now offers the following:

I’ve done a bit of research and it appears to me that the SOTER dealing is very well controlled in terms of legislation. The scanner delivers less than 3 uSv per scan and the ACT Government has set a limit of 0.25 mSv per prisoner, which gives approx 84 scanned visits per year. The limit set by the ACT Govt is arbitrarily set well below the National noc-occupational /general public radiation dose limit. This limit, which is set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and based on international standards, is 1 mSv per year. To put this limit into perspective, the background exposure level in Australia is about 2 mSv per year – you have no choice in avoiding this dose – with about 12% of that (coincidentally about 0.25 mSv) coming from internal sources, mostly radioactive Potasium-40. Yep, we are all naturally radioactive and you can’t avoid that either. I would be more concerned with driving the car to the correction centre and walking around under solar UV radiation emitted by the sun than the piddly dose from these x-ray scanners.”

Visit early, visit often.

bd84 bd84 2:08 pm 18 Feb 10

They aren’t making him live inside the machine so there isn’t a problem. The radiation levels from these machines is very small, and it is normally only dangerous when exposed to it constantly and at higher levels. If he really doesn’t like being subjected to the scans then he should change his lifestyle so it keeps out of jail. Xray scanning is far more acceptable compared to these people running around in the community committing crimes.

p1 p1 2:44 pm 18 Feb 10

I’d rather be x-rayed then have body cavity searches. But that’s just me.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 4:19 pm 18 Feb 10

I’ve heard those machines can cause sterility.

We live in hope.

hellspice hellspice 4:23 pm 18 Feb 10

If they would prefer to be subjected to strip searches instead of a quick scan i think you should be more worried about STD’s than tumors !

paperboy paperboy 7:01 pm 18 Feb 10

sloppery said :

buzz819 said :

While I understand your concern, YOU have to understand that your family member is in there for being naughty. quote]

Well said. They don’t put people in gaol here for nothing. Harden up.

Northwest9 said :

The best way to avoid percieved mistreatment in a prison is to NOT BREAK THE LAW.

Umm, not everyone in AMC is a convicted offender. Some are on remand.

buzz819 buzz819 9:35 pm 18 Feb 10

paperboy said :

sloppery said :

buzz819 said :

While I understand your concern, YOU have to understand that your family member is in there for being naughty. quote]

Well said. They don’t put people in gaol here for nothing. Harden up.

Northwest9 said :

The best way to avoid percieved mistreatment in a prison is to NOT BREAK THE LAW.

Umm, not everyone in AMC is a convicted offender. Some are on remand.

Yeah, but they are on remand for doing naughty things…. So they still broke the law, just cause the courts here don’t want to convict them is not the point.

In case you don’t know paperboy, it is very very hard to actually get remanded in the ACT.

They are still a criminal, they are in there because they don’t want to follow society’s rules, if this means they have to be inconvenienced in any way then so be it.

If you ask me they have to many luxury’s, to many rights and the way that the ACT treats it’s criminals is a disgrace, rehabilitation did not work the first 20 or 30 times, why do they think it is going to work on the 100th?

capitolm capitolm 10:24 pm 18 Feb 10

Thanks for your comments – I did mispell SOTERS – new keyboard- please understand that many people that are in there are not given information when they need it. There are some who would not even understand the information that is provided. Some have adult literacy problems. Some do not speak fluent English. They are simply told that they need to do something and don’t have easy access to the level of information they would like and they don’t have the luxury of conversations with experts. Thanks Ms Cheeky for your information – I have read that because I have the time to do a little research – where my family member doesn’t have access to research information. It’s also the people like me, who visit that just hear about these things through our loved ones and we are not given unbiased, professional information either. (Yes they are somebody’s loved one)

I don’t share the black and white opionions of some of you re: if you are in jail you deserve whatever bad happens. I have learned over the last year that many people in prison have been victims of crime or products of their environment. Some people just take a wrong turn regardless of their environment. Prisoners are not sent to prison to die. They are serving time to society and should be doing all the things it takes to rehabilate and learn how to make the right decisions, develop skills, and overcome adversity so that they can find their way when they get out- be a contributing member of society – have the skills to be a good parent,or partner, or teacher or doctor…or are those things too ‘off limits’ once someone has “broken the law”?

Just because my FM is in jail doesnt mean they should not be able to express concern about things. FM would like to be a parent one day and because FM doesn’t know of the levels of radiation (because they haven’t printed the information sheets yet for the detainees)has health concerns regarding this)- Or should FM also no longer have the right to a future as a parent?

And correct to Northwest9: Not everyone is a convicted offender. FM is on remand but is subject to exactly the same process as everyone else. FM is all good with this except wants to be able to make an informed decision when it comes to radiation exposure.

Northwest9 Northwest9 9:27 am 19 Feb 10

paperboy said :

sloppery said :

buzz819 said :

While I understand your concern, YOU have to understand that your family member is in there for being naughty. quote]

Well said. They don’t put people in gaol here for nothing. Harden up.

Northwest9 said :

The best way to avoid percieved mistreatment in a prison is to NOT BREAK THE LAW.

Umm, not everyone in AMC is a convicted offender. Some are on remand.

true that, being on remand simply means you broke the law (allegedly) and went to a hearing where a judge decided that you arent fit for public life until you go to court.

then when you get to court you are either 1. convicted, and moved into the sentenced area, and are issued with your new grey uniform, as apposed to the snazzy blue of remand, (women remand and sentenced sport a stylish maroon) 2.are released due to the patheticaly soft magistrates in the ACT, 3. manage to prove innocence, and are set free.

thing is, you dont get put in remand for doing 45 in a school zone.

and no, prisoners are not sent to prison to die, they are sent there to watch large screen LCD tvs, be educated, provided with first class medical and dental care, 3 square meals a day and a warm bed. tough gig. i know pensioners who struggle with getting that

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