Conducting Effective Cell Searches


Effective cell searches are critical to detecting and removing contraband from a correctional facility. In some facilities, cell searches are not conducted often or thorough enough to control contraband; leading to escape, assault, medical emergencies, gambling, intimidation, and other problems. This course teaches you the detailed steps to take so that you can conduct effective cell searches to increase the safety and security of your facility. After exploring the importance of conducting effective cell searches in a correctional facility, you will learn what you need to know before you begin a cell search and the detailed steps in conducting an effective cell search. This course is intended for correctional staff from jails, prisons, and community residential and juvenile facilities. Supervisory and management staff can also gain insight into how to help correctional staff conduct effective cell searches. The course includes a blend of instructional strategies and includes interactivity so that you can apply your learning.

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Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

Nevada Commission on Peace Officers' Standards & Training


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

Course Details

Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2018
Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of conducting effective cell searches in a correctional facility.
Describe the preparation needed to conduct an effective cell search.
List seven steps in conducting an effective cell search.

Section 1: Introduction
A. Course Contributors
B. About This Course
C. Learning Objectives
Section 2: The Importance of Cell Searches
A. A Tale of Two Searches
B. Safety through Cell Searches
C. Goals of Cell Searches
D. What is Contraband?
E. What Can a Cell Search Find?
F. Inmates and Contraband
G. The Challenge of Searching
H. Overcoming the Challenge
I. Section Summary
Section 3: Getting Ready to Search
A. Cell Search Policy: Defining Contraband
B. Cell Search Policy: Defining Search Procedures
C. Policy Review
D. Cell Search Equipment
E. Cell Search Mindset
F. Ready to Search?
G. Section Summary
Section 4: Conducting an Effective Cell Search
A. Inmate Presence
B. Conduct a Visual Search
C. Examine the Cell
D. Examine the Contents of the Cell
E. Examine Furniture and Fixtures
F. Conduct a Search
G. When Contraband is Found
H. When the Search is Complete
I. Won’t Get Fooled Again
J. Section Summary
Section 5: Conclusion
A. Summary
B. References

Instructor: Kristin Keller, M.A.
Kristin Keller, M.A. has over 30 years of experience in a combination of corrections and training development. Kris spent 20 years working in the Larimer County Detention Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. She ended her career there as the Inmate Services Manager, with responsibility for all inmate services and civilian functions at the detention center, including library, program, and volunteer services; contracted food and medical services; inmate classification; mental health services; and office support. Kris then worked as a Correctional Program Specialist for the National Institute of Corrections for seven years, planning, developing, monitoring, and evaluating training programs, technical assistance, and information services for local correctional agencies across the nation. For the last five years, Kris has worked as a Training Specialist designing, developing, and delivering training to adults on computer software applications. Kris has a MA in Librarianship and Information Management from the University of Denver and a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Disclosure: Kristin Keller, M.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Relias Learning will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Relias Learning has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias Learning will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias Learning at
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous Distance Learning with interactivity which includes quizzes with questions/answers, and posttests.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Learning Customer Support by calling (800) 381-2321 or emailing