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How Do Drugs Get Into Jails?

How Do Drugs Get Into Jails?

How is it possible for drugs to get into jails, especially the maximum-security prisons? With all their protocols, how does it happen?

The issue of drug use inside jails and prisons is always significant. People who are addicted to drugs will do anything to get them. For most prisoners and jailed individuals, the crimes that caused their incarceration are most often drug-related. 

The statistics about the overwhelming crime rates that involve drugs or money-related offenses to acquire drugs show the reality of how far someone will go when they are addicted to a drug or alcohol. Recently, the data indicates that approximately 50% of all prisoners doing time for drugs and criminal activity related to drugs. 

45% of the 2021 prisoner population is for crimes related to drugs; the average age of drug convicted prisoners is 36-40 years old. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2022)

How Do Drugs Get Into Jails?

What Drugs Do Prisoners Use?

In jails and prisons, the most sought-after drug is Fentanyl. Since Fentanyl only requires minuscule amounts to get a person high, it is easier to smuggle in versus heroin or morphine. Marijuana is also popular but extremely difficult to get in. Many prisoners will falsify pain, self-inflict pain, or other medical conditions to gather prescription pain killers and stash enough of them to either consume later as one large dose or to sell for a profit. 

There are numerous ways to get drugs into jails. Again, drug addicts are desperate, and many in prison are even more so without hope and simply do not care what happens. The disease of addiction is about the mind and less about the drugs, but sadly most prisoners do not get the therapy and treatment they need to realize they can be helped.

The Soaking Method

It is common for friends or relatives of prisoners in jail to soak paper, cards or envelopes, and other items that can be mailed into the prison with almost any type of substance. Other soaking methods include clothing and underwear soaked in Fentanyl or methamphetamines and wearing the garments into the jail either from work release or court. The types of drugs that have been discovered in the soaking method inside of prisons on paper products or fabric include:

  • Methadone
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Methamphetamine
  • THC or butane hash oil

Visitors Sneaking Drugs In

The most popular way to get drugs into a prison is always through direct contact visits. Getting a drug snuck to a prisoner during a visit is considered simple because of several factors. First, the prisoners get to know the guards and vice versa. Also, it takes about one year for a prisoner to establish the right or privilege to be allowed a one-on-one visit with someone from the outside. 

During this waiting period, the guards learn to trust the prisoners by knowing their personalities and easily being fooled. Also, many visiting wives or families use the baby or infant as the mule; they will stash the drug in the baby’s diaper or clothes for the prisoner to retrieve under the guard’s nose. This is terrifying but happens all the time. A correctional officer is not likely to investigate how prisoners hold their babies. Most drugs smuggled in this way are done with a small balloon that the prisoner swallows and later expels.

Drones and Dead Birds

Another way prisoners get drugs into the prison is through drones. Their external connection will fly a drone over the fence and drop a package with drugs inside it to be collected by the prisoner later. Drones have now been dropping dead birds stuffed with drugs since the packages via a drone are more easily identified by guards. 

Still, the methods of drones or dead animals should not surprise anyone, as addiction is a disease that will prompt anyone to go to any length or risk it all to get high. Moreover, the risk for accidental overdoses inside jails is exceptionally high since most prisoners do not have a regular intake of drugs and can easily overdose because they have no tolerance to the effects they would go on the street when using them every day.

What Do The Experts Recommend For Treatment in Prison?

The National Institute of Health supports treatment inside prisons and states how necessary it is to help the addicted prisoner and reduce crime in general.  

Despite increasing evidence that addiction is a treatable disease of the brain, most individuals do not receive treatment. Involvement in the criminal justice system often results from illegal drug-seeking behavior and participation in illegal activities that reflect, in part, disrupted behavior ensuing from brain changes triggered by repeated drug use. Treating drug-involved offenders provides a unique opportunity to decrease substance abuse and reduce associated criminal behavior. (NIH)

What Drug Programs Help Newly Released Prisoners?

The most important step for someone who has been in jail is to get out and immediately get into a treatment program that provides the therapy and medications to help them cope. Unfortunately, most jails and prisons still do not offer counseling or medication-assisted treatments, also known as MAT

On Call treatment has options for the newly released prisoner on where to be admitted right away, sober living homes, and intensive outpatient programs where they can work and receive behavioral therapy and medications. Call now for immediate help to our prisoner’s rehab programs.