Attempting to smuggle contraband into Mt Eden and Auckland Central Remand (ACRP) Prisons has just got a lot tougher with the introduction of a secure single point of entry to the site.
“All staff, visitors and contractors will enter the site through the single point of entry and have themselves and their possessions searched for contraband items using a metal detector and x-ray machine before entering the secure zone of the prison,” says Assistant Regional Manager Grace Smit.
“This brings the practices at Mt Eden and ACRP into line with other newer prison sites around the country.”
The single point of entry has been constructed as part of the Mt Eden/ACRP Redevelopment Project. Eventually it will be replaced by a new gatehouse which will be the only point of entry to the site.
“For many prisoners, drug use and abuse was a big part of life before coming to prison – and often contributed to their offending, whether they were stealing to support their addiction, or under the influence at the time of their crime,” says Ms Smit.
“For the safety of the public, our staff and the other prisoners that we manage, we work really hard to prevent drugs getting inside. We gather intelligence about specific prisoners attempting to coerce people to bring drugs in for them, we search visitors and their cars with a drug dog and physically by hand, and now we will also carry out searches using x-ray and metal detector technology.
“We also look at whether a prisoner would benefit from undertaking a substance abuse programme or spending time in a Drug Treatment Unit for sentenced prisoners who want to put a stop to the destructive effect that drugs have on their lives. This, in turn, reduces the demand for drugs in prison,” says Ms Smit.
In the last financial year positive random drug tests on prisoners nationally gave the lowest result since drug tests began in 1998 at 10.5 percent, showing that the increased focus on preventing drugs entering prison is effective.
Contraband is defined as an unauthorised item in prison. It includes drugs, cellphones, weapons, money, food, pornographic magazines, and tobacco.
“Introducing contraband into a Corrections facility is also a criminal offence, and we work closely with Police to ensure that those responsible for smuggling items inside the prison are held responsible.”
Notes to journalist:
Copyright © Department of Corrections | Feedback and queries email: firstname.lastname@example.org