More ganja, cell phones found during separate prison incidents

A BlackBerry cell phone and charger and about five ounces of what was believed to be ganja were recovered last weekend at Her Majesty’s Prison, Northward.

The contraband, which also included cigarette rolling papers, was apparently tossed over a fence onto the Northward compound. Prison officers have images of the person who threw the items over the 15-foot chain link fence, which is topped with razor wire.

In a separate weekend incident, a Northward inmate was found using a BlackBerry device. Although he immediately destroyed the phone, it was confiscated, officials said.

It is a crime to throw items over the fence into the Northward compound and inmates who intercept these packages lose remission time from their sentences, prisons director Neil Lavis said.

“These operations continue the zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and communication devices, which was introduced earlier this year,” Mr. Lavis said. “Over recent weeks, I have emphasised to staff the importance of these procedures. The urgent responses by officers to suspicions and intelligence in this regard are noteworthy, and I am encouraged by their enthusiasm.”

Cell phones are considered contraband in the prisons, as are cigarette rolling papers. The Prison Service already has a no-tolerance policy for cell phones among staff members. A body scanning device was also introduced in 2012 to check inmates, visitors and staff for illegal items.

Mr. Lavis vowed to continue the zero-tolerance policy “as drugs and cell phones are not only major security breaches, but also inhibit prisoner rehabilitation”.

“I recognise that these problems are universal, and overcoming them requires strategic planning, resources and a combined effort by all stakeholders,” he said. “Apart from detection, I believe it is also important to reduce drug use by offering programmes which reduce prisoners’ reliance on drugs.”

Prison officers have images of the person who threw the items over the 15-foot chain link fence, which is topped with razor wire.

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