Prison guards found 4 pounds of what is believed to be ganja, three phones, five bottles of alcohol, rolling papers and cigars in two packages that apparently were thrown over the fence Monday at Northward Prison, according to prison officials.
Drugs and other contraband are a common problem at Northward Prison. A recent report from United Kingdom inspectors, who visited the prison earlier this year, found that “illegal drugs were easily available” to prisoners, and guards regularly found cellphones and other contraband in the prison.
Prison Service Director Neil Lavis said in a statement, “It’s a shame that goods are still flung over the prison fence. This was a significant find.
“We work hard to battle the ongoing threat that these illegal items represent, and I want to thank the staff for their hard work and dedication in developing and acting on this intelligence.”
Delivering contraband to prisoners can lead to a $15,000 fine and up to three years in prison.
Mr. Lavis said drugs and alcohol can cause conflicts between inmates. He said prisoners found with contraband can face longer sentences and loss of privileges.
The U.K. Prisons Inspectorate report, released in May, described Northward as “decrepit and squalid.” Inspectors found that perimeter security at Northward had improved since the last inspection in 2012.
A prisoner survey by inspectors reported that 35 percent of inmates said it was easy to get drugs in Northward. The report recommends mandatory random drug testing for inmates, both to deter drug use and give prison officials a measure of drug use in Northward.
Investigators found that the prison conducted 30 drug tests at Northward in 2014, which they called “insufficient.” Most of those tests, the report states, were done before release or for parole applications. About a quarter of those drug tests were positive for ganja, and a few tested positive for cocaine.
The report states: “Drug supply reduction arrangements were rudimentary and haphazard, with no published strategy and little evidence of directed actions to reduce the supply into the prisons.”