prison drug market

The prison drug supply continues to grow in spite of efforts to eliminate drugs from correctional institutions. Addiction and abuse is rampant within the nation’s prisons which makes it difficult to curb. The Department of Corrections is working on ways to stem the flow of drugs into the prison system.


The Issue with the Prison Drug Market

The Department of Corrections expanded efforts to stop the flow of drugs into prisons by bringing in additional K9 units. Furthermore, the Department is working to continue relentless pursuit of any individuals who violate rules in order to safeguard institutions from rampant drug use. Attica and Wyoming correctional facilities in upstate New York have discovered several inmate visitors were indicted for attempted smuggling of drugs. It is believed visitors to the prison were responsible for bringing illicit contraband such as cocaine, marijuana, K2, painkillers, heroin and opiates. Mobile phones and tobacco are two other big problems which fuel the underground economy which exists in prisons today.


The Challenge

Correctional officers have always found it difficult to keep drugs out of prisons. Numerous plans have been implemented to combat the flow but inmates have proven to be smarter adversaries in the war on drugs. As more ways are found to circumnavigate the safeguards, prison authorities are seeking drastic measures such as full body scanners and airport-style drug detection hand swabs for visitors to the prison. In reality, staff are sometimes responsible for bringing in drugs as well or may allow inmate use of mobile phones for prisoners to set up drug deals and tell people how to package them up to bring into prison.


Strategies for Change

A Bureau of Prisons report claimed drugs are present in almost all federal prisons. A two-pronged strategy was suggested: to stop the supply of drugs and reduce demand. Both of these strategies present challenges for correctional officers and administrators. The supply of drugs seems never ending but more measures need to be in place to protect inmates from officers and visitors who bring contraband into prisons. The other side of the coin is to reduce demand, which may be the harder of the two strategies. Unfortunately, addiction is a problem in prisons as much as outside the walls of prison with no easy way to help individuals kick the habit for good and quit running illegal trades. With lots of time on inmate’s hands, it is no wonder new and innovative ways of circumventing the system are happening all the time. The Department of Corrections needs to find a way to stem the flow while also working to support individuals who need help receive support to quit drugs.


Hired Power provides resources and tools to support individuals who want to quit drugs or alcohol. If you or a loved one need help, call us to find out how we can get you started on the road to recovery.