Journal Entry: Gary Goulin-03/23/2024-STRIP SEARCH

Journal Entry

Gary Goulin’s Journal Entry #18 March 23, 2024

“STRIP SEARCH”

I was thrilled that the Recreation Center was open yesterday so that I could take my 7:00am Yoga/stretching class. Due to construction, the Recreation Center has had intermittent closures. Upon return to my unit at 8:00am, I saw that everyone was being stopped and the security officers were passing a wand over everyone. What I found out later was that a mobile phone was found on the exercise yard the day before, which is contraband.

The security officer passed the wand over me and it alarmed over my right hip. The officer asked me if I had any metal pins or anything in my hip. I replied no, I never had any hip surgery. He asked me if I was sure. Seriously, who would not remember having had hip surgery?

In any case, he proceeded to pat me down. The only thing I had in my pocket was my ID card. He wanded me again and it still went off over my right hip. The officer said he would have to search me.

We went upstairs and the officer took me to the staff bathroom. There, he had me remove my shirt, and pull my pants down, leaving my underwear on. The wand still went off over my right hip. He patted my hip, had me expose my hip and the wand still alarmed! As I obviously had no cell phone, no contraband or anything, he let me go. He did apologize for the inconvenience. I told him that I totally understood he needed to do his job – and with the wand going off he really had no choice. I still have no idea as to why the wand went off, specifically over my right hip. Clearly, it was not functioning properly. I just wonder how many other people were searched based on this erroneous wand.

When I told this story to some people, they asked if I was angry and upset. I was not. Why should I be? Contraband was found on the prison exercise yard and the guards needed to be sure people weren’t in possession of it. The fact that the wand was malfunctioning was not the security officer’s fault. He was obligated to search me when it alarmed. That’s his job. No harm, no foul.