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Corrections Staff Catch Drug Smuggler

( A new prisoner to Otago Corrections Facility gave a whole new meaning to going inside last week as he was caught trying to smuggle drugs into the prison internally.

“The demand for drugs in prison is high and unfortunately prisoners will try just about anything to get them inside, including using body cavities to hide them,” says Prison Manager Jack Harrison.

“This is why our staff are always alert and follow strict procedures when receiving a prisoner into prison. In this case it was during a mandatory check of the holding cell this prisoner had occupied that staff found evidence he may have been concealing.”

Mr Harrison says the prisoner was subsequently interviewed by the on-call manager and health staff and then placed in a dry cell.

“As its name suggests, a dry cell does not have a toilet or wash basin. It is simply an empty cell with an area to put a mattress. Those who are suspected of concealing contraband are placed in here to wait out the appearance of further evidence.”

The dry cell is used approximately once a month and the average stay for a prisoner suspected of concealing is three to five days.

“I am proud of my staff and the work that they do to prevent contraband getting into the prison. Monitoring a prisoner’s toileting habits is not a particularly pleasant job, but it’s one that is important and necessary in stopping this sort of thing.

“In this instance staff discovered, on three separate occasions over two days, that this prisoner had passed capsules of an unauthorised prescription medication usually used to treat ADHD.

“The prisoner has been charged under the prison’s internal disciplinary system and the Police notified.”

Notes to reporter: Corrections officers cannot search a prisoner internally

Media Release 3 March 2010 from Department of Corrections.
Telephone (04) 460 3365



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