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Old Jun 26, 12, 2:27 pm   #1
 
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TSA Procedures vs. Federal Prison Procedures

I was curious about how TSA procedures compare to federal prison procedures, and I found a U.S. Department of Justice Program Statement about searching, detaining, and arresting federal prison visitors.

I am not sure what to make of it. Some of the procedures are scary close to current TSA procedures. Others suggest where TSA could be going (or might already be, given how much information TSA has shared about its procedures). If it works for prisons, it will work for airports, too, I suppose.

Some excerpts of interest:

Quote:
Notwithstanding staff authority to conduct random searches, staff may also conduct reasonable suspicion searches to ensure the safety, security, and orderly operation of Bureau facilities, and protect the public. “Reasonable suspicion” exists if a staff member knows of facts and circumstances that warrant rational inferences by a person with correctional experience that a non-inmate may be engaged in, attempting, or about to engage in, criminal or other prohibited activity. ...“Hunches,” “gut feelings,” or “mere suspicion” do not meet the reasonable suspicion standard. However, they support continued observation, investigation, and questioning that may provide information needed to meet the reasonable suspicion standard.
Quote:
Visitors failing to clear a walk-through metal detector must be searched using a hand-held metal detector. Failure to clear the hand-held metal detector may qualify as reasonable suspicion to perform a further pat or visual search.
Quote:
You and your belongings may be pat searched either randomly or upon reasonable suspicion. A pat search of your person or belongings involves a staff member pressing his/her hands on your outer clothing, or the outer surface of your belongings, to determine whether prohibited objects are present.
Quote:
Visual searches of persons may only be conducted when authorized by the warden upon reasonable suspicion that the subject is engaged, or attempting to engage, in prohibited activities, including possession of prohibited objects. ...A visual search of your person involves removing all articles of clothing, including religious headwear, to allow a visual (non-tactile) inspection of your body surfaces and cavities.
Quote:
Persons refusing to submit to or comply with authorized Bureau search procedures will be denied entry to Bureau grounds and facilities or required to leave. Depending on circumstances, such persons may be detained or arrested, either by Bureau staff, or by local or Federal law enforcement authorities. Warden authorization is required before taking any of these actions.
The prison procedures also allow for searching of vehicles and drug testing.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 2:33 pm   #2
 
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Actually, it sounds like the Bureau search rules are more reasonable than the tsa's. The Bureau goes through a hand-held metal detector instead of straight to a patdown. The person will only be denied entry if they refuse to comply rather than hit with a $11,000 fine. "“Hunches,” “gut feelings,” or “mere suspicion” do not meet the reasonable suspicion standard." unlike the tsa where wanting to fly meets "reasonable suspicion" for them going to a more intensive search.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 2:38 pm   #3
 
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Old Jun 26, 12, 2:43 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmurrr View Post
I am not sure what to make of it. Some of the procedures are scary close to current TSA procedures. Others suggest where TSA could be going (or might already be, given how much information TSA has shared about its procedures). If it works for prisons, it will work for airports, too, I suppose.
(all my emphasis).

First you say "I am not sure what to make of it". So why then try to extrapolate requirements from one agency/system to another?

Then, your use of "could" and "suggest" - hardly words that express definite outlooks or outcomes. So, if this is all you worry about - the POSSIBILITY of a remote outcome - you have a pretty good life.

FYI, the items you describe (not including vehicles or drug testing) all pertain to proceeding through a checkpoint at a Federal Courthouse to go to the office to renew your passport. I suppose you will start fearing to do that, eh?
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Last edited by essxjay; Jun 28, 12 at 1:49 pm. Reason: argumentative; fix UBB tags
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Old Jun 26, 12, 3:16 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travis bickle View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmurrr View Post
I am not sure what to make of it. Some of the procedures are scary close to current TSA procedures. Others suggest where TSA could be going (or might already be, given how much information TSA has shared about its procedures). If it works for prisons, it will work for airports, too, I suppose.
(all my emphasis).

First you say "I am not sure what to make of it". So why then try to extrapolate requirements from one agency/system to another?

Then, your use of "could" and "suggest" - hardly words that express definite outlooks or outcomes. So, if this is all you worry about - the POSSIBILITY of a remote outcome - you have a pretty good life.

FYI, the items you describe (not including vehicles or drug testing) all pertain to proceeding through a checkpoint at a Federal Courthouse to go to the office to renew your passport. I suppose you will start fearing to do that, eh?
Many, many, many people have had TSA clerks hands on their genitals for much less than reasonable suspicion, indeed for NO suspicion, just at random. Some have been physically strip searched, such as the three old ladies at JFK

Last edited by essxjay; Jun 28, 12 at 1:56 pm. Reason: reference to removed comment; fix UBB tags; snarky
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Old Jun 26, 12, 9:48 pm   #6
 
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Did you notice

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Originally Posted by nachtnebel View Post
Many, many, many people have had TSA clerks hands on their genitals for much less than reasonable suspicion, indeed for NO suspicion, just at random. Some have been physically strip searched, such as the three old ladies at JFK.

That's RealityLand, pal.
that the OP was injecting an entire thought train based on his own personal conjecture because he found a different agency's procedures? He then extrapolated those procedures to the TSA.

Nowhere did he, or I, say anything about the current state of affairs at the hands of the TSA.

Why not make extrapolations based on the conjecture that the moon is really made of green cheese? or, that the moon landings were all faked?

You might care to review the OP's original "thought-provoking" adventure post.
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Last edited by essxjay; Jun 28, 12 at 1:55 pm. Reason: snarky
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Old Jun 27, 12, 1:57 am   #7
 
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[quote=travis bickle;18826924][quote=nachtnebel;18825029]
Quote:
Originally Posted by travis bickle View Post

that the OP was injecting an entire thought train based on his own personal conjecture because he found a different agency's procedures? He then extrapolated those procedures to the TSA.

Nowhere did he, or I, say anything about the current state of affairs at the hands of the TSA.
...

You might care to review the OP's original "thought-provoking" adventure post. When you learn to read, let me know.
It should give you pause, anyone pause, that descriptions of screening visitors to prisons, and the mindset of authorities wrt these visits should so closely parallel the procedures and mindset of the TSA in screening passengers. This is not a new observation btw, nor is it any the less true by that fact. It is not conjecture, it is fact, and it is disgusting to see this.

The only thing I would fault the OP for is that he's too soft on the TSA: "I'm not sure what to make of it" "suggests where TSA might be going". H*ll, these people are treating passengers like prison inmates and visitors to prison NOW. Is that or is that not what is most like what we see at airports with the blue shirted wonders performing hair searches, inside the trouser feel-arounds, groin searches, boob searches, and butt rubbing on free, innocent travelers. Outside of the criminal justice system where else do YOU see things like this?

Last edited by essxjay; Jun 28, 12 at 1:47 pm. Reason: personal attack
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Old Jun 27, 12, 4:04 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtnebel View Post
It should give you pause, anyone pause, that descriptions of screening visitors to prisons, and the mindset of authorities wrt these visits should so closely parallel the procedures and mindset of the TSA in screening passengers. This is not a new observation btw, nor is it any the less true by that fact. It is not conjecture, it is fact, and it is disgusting to see this.

The only thing I would fault the OP for is that he's too soft on the TSA: "I'm not sure what to make of it" "suggests where TSA might be going". H*ll, these people are treating passengers like prison inmates and visitors to prison NOW. Is that or is that not what is most like what we see at airports with the blue shirted wonders performing hair searches, inside the trouser feel-arounds, groin searches, boob searches, and butt rubbing on free, innocent travelers. Outside of the criminal justice system where else do YOU see things like this?
You still do not get it.

Please re-read the OP's original post. He is NOT venting about what the TSA currently does, he is NOT venting about NoS, he is NOT venting about outrageous searches currently underway, etc.

Instead, he has read some regulations/procedures from a Bureau of Prisons guide. The items he has read discuss: walking through metal detectors; physical and visual searches UNDER REASONABLE SUSPICION SITUATIONS; not allowing entry for an individual, etc.

In the context of his "illuminating" message, he seems to want to make the "logical leap" that since one portion of one governmental facility does certain activities, the TSA cannot be far behind.
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Last edited by essxjay; Jun 28, 12 at 1:58 pm. Reason: response to removed comment; sniping
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Old Jun 27, 12, 5:13 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travis bickle View Post
[In the context of his "illuminating" message, he seems to want to make the "logical leap" that since one portion of one governmental facility does certain activities, the TSA cannot be far behind.
The 'illuminating message' is that prison visitors are treated better than travelers.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 10:03 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travis bickle View Post
In the context of his "illuminating" message, he seems to want to make the "logical leap" that since one portion of one governmental facility does certain activities, the TSA cannot be far behind...
[I don't understand why you have to be rude about this. Rudeness is not conducive to discussion. Please feel free to post counterarguments that rely on facts or reasoned thinking. I have no interest in responding to any more of your ranting.]

I have posted in another thread my (rhetorical) questions about where TSA is going, and looking to other federal agencies for a precedent seems like a reasonable approach to answering those questions. I looked at the prison system because that agency's security needs seemed to be the most relevant to airport security--moreso than, say, the National Park Service or the Food & Drug Administration's security needs.

The most concerning thing (IMO) about the prison procedures is that TSA's procedures are similar even though there are two key differences in the populations that are being screened:

1. Many federal prison visitors have a pre-existing relationship with a convicted criminal and are arguably sympathetic to the criminal. (The Bureau's procedures state that you cannot be on an inmate's visitor list unless you have a pre-existing relationship with that inmate. Clergy, attorneys, etc. are exempted.) Suspicion is reasonable. In contrast, it is not a given that a flyer has a connection to anyone who wants to see flight security circumvented. I suspect it is very, very unlikely that a flyer has such a connection, but I do not have statistics to support that.

2. The safety and security problem associated with the smuggling of contraband items into prisons is far, far more common than the problem of flyers trying to bring explosive devices on planes, and prison visitors are a documented part of that problem. Some supporting statistics for the former from a very quick on-line search:
FBI article

U.S. Department of Justice report

Washington Post article

California newspaper article
If the prison system is the baseline and represents a reasonable level of screening for its circumstances, then TSA's procedures appear to be unreasonable for its circumstances. If TSA already oversteps, what will it do when more people realize that the NoSs are ineffective? I do not know the answer, but I can speculate that it may involve looking to a precedent or a model, in which case the prison procedures continue to be fair game.

[I see nothing wrong with speculating on this matter. Those who are not interested in speculation should ignore this thread.]
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Old Jun 27, 12, 10:20 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
The 'illuminating message' is that prison visitors are treated better than travelers.
that's surely a major takeaway. Mr. Bickle, in his quest for pedantic exactitude, has managed to miss the obvious.
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Old Jun 28, 12, 2:03 pm   #12
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Folks, there's a place for sniping on FT and we call it OMNI/PR. I've removed a number of snippy remarks here that border on the personal. Please confine your thoughts to the topic at hand, not one another or there will be time on the sidelines for violators.

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