The interception of a significant amount of cannabis from visitors to Spring Hill Corrections Facility over the last week has highlighted the pressure that is placed on visitors, especially women, to bring drugs to prisoners.
“Prisoners can be very persuasive. They will threaten and abuse people in their lives, often women, in order to get hold of drugs, cellphones and other items that are prohibited in prison.
“The majority of the prisoners we manage have long histories of using and abusing drugs. They don’t think this should stop when they come to prison – but it has to. If we can get prisoners away from the lifestyles that they have been living, and then eliminate the dependencies they had before coming to us then we have a much better chance of reducing their risk of re-offending.”
Mr Dalziel says the work of staff in intercepting over 200 grams of cannabis from three separate visitors last weekend was an excellent result, but he is disheartened by the knowledge that of the three people caught, two were the mothers of prisoners. He says that in his 33 year career this aspect has not changed – women are still taking risks for their men, whether they are their sons, boyfriends or fathers.
On Friday, during a regular search operation, staff stopped a female driver in the prison carpark. She was at the site to visit her partner, a prisoner. While conducting a rub-down search of the woman they found a package of cannabis weighing nearly 100 grams. She claimed she didn’t know what was inside and was detained while Police were called. The woman was arrested.
During visits sessions on Saturday morning a prisoner was seen being handed an item by his visitor, his mother. Staff intercepted the item and terminated the visit. The item turned out to be over 45 grams of cannabis, which was then given to Police. Police have charged the woman.
On Saturday afternoon, another prisoner was seen being handed items by his visitor, again, the visitor was his mother. The prisoner refused to hand over the items and the visit was again terminated. He was transported to a unit and searched but the items weren’t found. Staff checked the van he was transported in and found packaged cannabis weighing over 60 grams. His mother was stopped from leaving the prison and detained until Police arrived and arrested her.
“Your mum or your partner should be there to help you turn your life around and help you get off drugs. Positive support from families increases a person's chance of successfully reintegrating into the community,” says Mr Dalziel.
“It is the women that try and hold their families together while their loved ones are in prison. In all of these three cases, I expect that the prisoners involved exerted huge amounts of pressure to have the drugs brought in for them. The women may have been threatened, or afraid of the repercussions they would face if they didn’t supply them.
“All three women are now facing criminal charges before the Courts, and have also all been banned from coming back to the prison meaning the pressure that was on them is now off. They wont be asked to bring drugs in again, because they can’t.
“Aiding your son’s, husband’s or father’s addictions isn’t helping them, but it can be hard to refuse. Speak out if you are being pressured by prisoners, for yourselves and for the men you love.”
Anyone who is being pressured to bring drugs into a prison can report this completely anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Copyright © Department of Corrections | Feedback and queries email: email@example.com