Corrections staff conducting a routine vehicle check of visitors at Manawatu Prison on the weekend had positive results.
“A total of 48 visitors and 32 cars were checked. Only two visitors were found to be seriously lacking in their judgement with staff noting a strong smell of cannabis permeating their car,” says Prison Manager Peter Howe.
“The two visitors came to the attention of prison staff who were conducting a routine search of vehicles entering the prison grounds. They were given exclusion orders after the car they were driving had a noticeable odour of cannabis smoke and evidence of recent consumption was also found in the glove compartment.
“Even if the contraband was for the visitors' own use and not intended to be smuggled in for a prisoner, we do not allow any contraband on our property.
“Corrections has zero tolerance for drugs and the pair were issued exclusion orders from the prison for a period of six months.
“Three visitors were also given warnings for carrying other contraband in their cars.
“I am pleased that nothing more was found as it shows that the majority of visitors are listening to our message that we do not tolerate drugs in prison, and that attempting to introduce contraband is taken seriously by Corrections staff.
“There are a number of measures in place to stop drugs and other contraband entering prisons. This includes visitor searches, vehicle checkpoints, the use of drug detection dogs and monitoring of visit sessions by staff and cameras. We also have a range of initiatives in prisons designed to reduce the demand for drugs.
“Prison check points are conducted regularly by every prison in the country. However it is still surprising that people continue to try to introduce contraband given our clear ‘zero tolerance’ message for drugs in prison,” says Mr Howe.
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