The Department of Corrections is pleased to confirm that a visitor to Tongariro/Rangipo Prison was caught trying to smuggle contraband in to a prisoner on Sunday afternoon.
"Stopping contraband entering prisons, and apprehending those who do attempt to smuggle it in, is one of Corrections highest priorities," says Tongariro/Rangipo Prison Manager Paul Vlaanderen.
"In the last five years we have implemented a number of security measures, including electronic security devices and cameras, closed circuit TV, video motion detectors, microwave sensors, and an extra electronic barrier arm.
"Prison checkpoints are regularly set up outside the prison to screen visitors and staff. Checkpoints routinely involve searches being undertaken by drug dogs. This has resulted in greater numbers of contraband being intercepted.
"Thanks to these security measures and the diligence of our staff, a visitor on Sunday was apprehended and a quantity of drugs were seized for Police.
"Our staff reacted quickly, following all appropriate procedures, when they suspected that an attempt was being made to smuggle contraband.
"The visitor was detained and interviewed, as was the prisoner. Staff found the contraband and placed it in an evidence bag.
"Prison Services take any attempt to introduce contraband, in any form, into the prison environment very seriously. In this case police were notified and attended at the prison.
"The prisoner and his visitor will charged by police over the incident,” says Mr Vlaanderen.
"Prisoners have a high rate of drug dependency, therefore there is high demand for drugs in prisons. Stopping the supply of drugs is one part of the answer to reduce this dependency.
"Our strategy is working. In 1998, positive random drug tests in New Zealand prisons were 34 percent. The current rate is 12.7 percent."
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