Jails and prisons are the places where those found guilty by a court of law go to serve their assigned sentences. Unfortunately it is all too common for drugs and other banned items to be found and confiscated from inmates. It might be hard to believe, but often times these banned or illegal items come from the very workers who are tasked with keeping prisons safe and keeping inmates in prison.
An article in the New York Times tells of the investigation of a New York City corrections officer of nearly 20 years who was able to make money above and beyond her generous salary by smuggling in items such as cellphones, pliers, flashlights, marijuana and cocaine. A specific inmate who was involved had a nice system setup wherein he would provide lists of items to relatives who would secure those items and then get them to the corrections officer. The corrections officer would find ways to smuggle the contraband into the facility and to the inmate who would then sell the items to other inmates. The corrections officer could make a nice bonus of up to $1000 per delivery. Part of the investigation was determining how the corrections officer was able to get all these items through the prison’s safeguards and protocols, which of course turned out to be lax screening.
The topic of banned items in prisons takes on even more importance considering the recent escape of two convicted killers from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Drugs, weapons, and banned items are both a danger to inmates in the form of internal violence but can also be used to aid escape. It is hard to imagine what is going through the mind of a prison worker who would provide such tools to inmates. The dangers and the risks if caught are high.
Adding a slight bit of humor, the investigation of the corrections officer actually turned up a thank you card from an inmate who was appreciative of the contributions to the “jail shopping network”.