Maryland prison administrators are rewriting security procedures to disrupt the flow of drugs and other contraband into state prisons, the Baltimore Sun says. The state is buying new screening devices to enable more careful scrutiny of all visitors and staff, and officials are imposing tighter restrictions on what prison employees can bring to work, said Maryland Correction Commissioner Frank C. Sizer Jr. Drug-sniffing dogs will be used more often and an “interdiction team” will conduct surprise inspections at prisons where there are signs of problems.
The new measures come after a July report by the Sun that detailed how banned items like heroin, marijuana, pornographic videos, tobacco, cell phones, and top-shelf liquor are routinely being smuggled past security checkpoints at the prisons. Much of the violence in the prisons stems from disputes over unpaid drug debts or struggles by gangs for control over the lucrative black-market trade in contraband. “I’d like to say we will be able to eliminate it,” Sizer said. “But it’s almost like a cat-and-mouse game. You plug one hole and another pops up somewhere else.” He said the vast majority of corrections employees are honest, but a few corrupt officers have been smuggling contraband.