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California’s invasive ‘contraband watch’ often yields little

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California uses a controversial method to recover contraband from inmates believed to have swallowed it or concealed it in body cavities: “potty watches” where inmates are handcuffed and shackled for days or even weeks while guards watch around-the-clock until nature takes its course.

Prison officials say the watches are necessary to recover weapons, cellphones and notes passed among inmates to coordinate illegal gang activities. Some recovered items seem truly bizarre: a can opener, hearing aids, and an entire electric tattoo kit.

The watches have been used 1,200 times in the last 2

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