Contraband Detection

Keeping contraband such as weapons out of court facilities is essential to the safety of courthouse personnel and the public. Detection technologies and search practices need to be able to locate both metallic and nonmetallic items, including guns or explosives, knives and small sharp items such as razor blades, as well as illegal drugs and chemical agents.

Weapons disguised as everyday items, such as a lipstick, credit card holder or walking cane can contain concealed blades. Weaponry has evolved, and court security officials need to keep abreast of developments both in weaponry and detection technologies.

Current technology includes x-ray scanners, walkthrough metal detectors and handheld metal detectors, which can be used to scan a person or a carrying case or bag to detect concealed metal.

As of September 30, 2019, the Justice Technology Information Center (JTIC) program has ended. For inquiries on technology and public safety, please contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at:

Also see NIJ’s Contraband Detection and Control Page