It was an outstanding team effort for staff at Christchurch Men’s Prison that resulted in a visitor being apprehended on Saturday 22 August for trying to smuggle in contraband.
“Great collaboration and communication between different groups of staff culminated in the arrest of a female visitor trying to smuggle approximately 30 grams of cannabis into the prison inside her bra,” says Christchurch Men’s Prison Manager John Roper.
“I am very proud of the work done by our staff. Firstly through their observations of a prisoner and their suspicions about his actions, then the involvement of our intelligence unit and finally the drug dog team intercepting the drugs.”
Mr Roper says drugs making their way into the hands of prisoners is extremely dangerous for other prisoners, Corrections staff and in rare cases, the public. It is also in direct contradiction to the Department's focus on reducing re-offending and community safety. Drugs are illegal and unacceptable and the exact reason why staff continue to be vigilant with searches.
“We will not tolerate this stuff getting inside. The message is clear to both prisoners attempting to get drugs sent in to them, and members of the public sending them. We will find them, we will give them to the Police, and you will get caught.”
Introducing contraband into the prison is an offence under section 141 of the Corrections Act 2004, and staff can detain visitors like this particular woman until Police arrive.
“Once the drug dog indicated the possibility of drugs on her person, the woman cooperated fully. When staff questioned her about her attempts to smuggle in contraband she volunteered the package of cannabis that she had inside her bra. The Police were called and they took possession of the cannabis and subsequently arrested the women.”
It is standard practice for Corrections to involve the Police when drugs are detected. Visitors who are caught attempting to introduce illegal items are also likely to be banned from future visits to the prison for up to twelve months.
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