Innovating European Standards for Drug Identification in Correctional Facilities

About the EU DrugDetect Project

DrugDetect is an Innovation Procurement project that has been co-funded by the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) of the European Union (EU). The DrugDetect project aims to provide innovative solutions to prevent drugs from entering European correctional facilities. It consists of a consortium of four partners from Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain.

The program consisted of multiple projects, which had a goal of providing various solutions and technologies to the growing problem of drugs in correctional facilities. These projects evaluated technologies such as x-ray scanners, as well as drug identification technologies like the MX908, and desktop IMS systems. After a rigorous application and review process, 908 Devices was invited to the Netherlands to conduct real world scenario-based testing alongside other drug identification technologies. These scenarios consisted of analyzing drug samples and verifying other technical specifications.

During the scenarios, there were 25 various samples analyzed by the MX908. Some of these samples contained trace amounts of drugs. Other samples contained no drugs, and evaluated the devices’ propensity for false alarms. The samples were made to simulate how drugs might be smuggled into a prison (i.e. soaked into paper/mail), or how they might be identified after consumption (i.e. trace amounts of drugs on inmate belongings). The MX908 performed exceptionally well. 908 Devices was later awarded a contract to supply multiple MX908 devices to European correctional facilities.

MX908 Adoption in Correctional Facilities

Thanks to the EU DrugDetect project, corrections personnel in Belgium and Greece have each received an initial MX908 device. This will help combat drugs infiltrating their correctional facilities. The need for improved trace identification of drugs within correctional facilities is vital to combat the growing issue of drug use within prison walls.

Legacy trace detectors were limited in target library size. They also required lengthy maintenance intervention in the event of a clog. That rendered the detector useless until the issue had been resolved. The MX908 Target List is much larger than older trace technologies. It also contains many emerging drugs found in correctional facilities, such as synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids. The Fentanyl Analog Classifier of the MX908 also provides a future-proof method of classifying 2,000+ fentanyl analogs without the need of a large library of reference spectra. In addition to the target list size, the MX908 is significantly less maintenance intensive, making it an ideal device for drug identification by correctional officers.

EU DrugDetect and MX908 in the News
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Correctional Facilities Drug Detection

MX908 is a portable device that detects and identifies trace amounts of drugs and chemicals. Physical mail entering into correctional facilities can be inconspicuously concealed with drug substances, threatening the safety of officers and inmates. Learn how the MX908 can help keep officers and inmates safe by detecting and identifying narcotics.