The Fight Against Smuggled Items in Georgia Prisons Continues

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

Thomasville, GA -- The crackdown on prohibited drugs, technology, and tobacco products has been ongoing in south Georgia for some time.

Thomas County Prison Warden Robert Geer says inmates will attempt to smuggle in anything that's 'not pre-approved by state guidelines and policy.'

Says Geer, "I would say 50 percent of prisoners -- and statistically throughout the state of Georgia, 50 percent of the population -- is going to smuggle something in."

A few days ago, Autry State Prison inmate John Prescott was caught trying to smuggle in almost six ounces of marijuana after it was left for him at a job site.

Narcotics agents say drugs, now-prohibited tobacco, and even cell phones, translate into big money behind bars -- where small luxuries are few and far between.

Narcotics Commander Kevin Lee says the 'sky's the limit' when it comes to the ways prisoners try to sneak contraband behind bars.

Says Lee, "You figure these guys -- and girls -- have all day to figure out how to get it in and where to hide it when they get back -- if it gets back in."

Wardens estimate about 20 percent of smuggled items are found during thorough pat-down searches *before* they enter the prison.

Remarks Geer, "What we don't see is what scares us, but we do eventually find it inside the prison."

Narcotics agents say the key to stopping the stream of smuggled goods is to first stop the people hiding them for inmates to find -- which is challenging with so many prisoners working at different county job sites.

Inmates face isolation, further charges, and parole extensions when they're caught with items that aren't allowed.


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  • by Anonymous Location: vtown on Apr 2, 2011 at 08:21 AM
    im pretty sure if yall wasnt to darn lazy if theres a well theres a way.. yall surely can keep out all the bad from coming through those walls of the prison.. thats just a poor excuss for yall to not sayin yall are doing such a good job... get reall its 2011 yall can stop it....
  • by Wild Thang Location: Tally on Mar 31, 2011 at 08:41 AM
    A good drug dog at the front/back door should do the trick for the drug problem. They just don't miss much! Every unit already has tracking dogs, just add one more to the pack and another bag of dog food. Problem solved. Maybe I can get me one of them 1k jobs in the DOC with that kind of thinking eh, Scott?
  • by Bolillo Location: Wakulla on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:45 AM
    Contraband (and the word invented) started when the 1st prison was built. As long as there's prisons, there'll be contraband. There is only 2 ways to get it into a prison. Front door\back door. Now thats really hard, ain't it? And it is always a criminal that brings it in. Now that really hard, ain't it?
  • by My 2 Cents Location: Fl on Mar 30, 2011 at 04:07 PM
    Start doing Staff Searches Better. They bring in 25% or more of the Contraband. Hidden in there lunch boxes, Under Clothing, Drink Cups and inside their socks, just to name a few places they hide thing. Also the Visits of Family Members of the Inmate. They Hide things in there under Clothing where the Staff will not and can not search due to personal space being invaded. Strange but all you can do is a wand or a walk through metal detector search on Visiting Family Members. I think they should go through the same thing as you do to board an Airplane.
  • by Jillian Location: US on Mar 30, 2011 at 02:44 PM
    A professional survey needs to be conducted to determine to what extent the profits of gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and liquor stores will increase by when they're legally allowed to sell marijuana to adults. These corporations should be demanding the right to sell marijuana, not just for the good of their stakeholders, but in order to undermine drug dealers' prices and drive them out of our communities and away from our children! Marijuana has repeatedly been proven to NOT cause cancer, heart disease, brain damage, liver disease, emphysema, or any other significant health issue, and its addiction potential is about on par with coffee. In all respects, marijuana is far safer than beer and wine and should, at the very least, be controlled by exactly the same laws that we use for alcohol. Our current marijuana prohibition empowers drug dealers and the Mexican drug cartels by preventing any form of legal competition to their activities.
    • reply
      by Georgia Boy on Apr 3, 2011 at 05:12 AM in reply to Jillian
      I see you are back again, Jillian, espousing legalizing marijuana due to its great qualities. Is this because you are a user? I highly doubt your statement it isn't habit forming, and suspect it is the front door to harder drug use so I oppose legalizing it. As for keeping it away from our kids, look how successful trying to keep cigarettes from them is.
  • by dog Location: gone on Mar 30, 2011 at 02:34 PM
    Pat down search ? How about a strip and cavity search that might slow thing's down .
  • by Ya Ya Location: Spring Creek version on Mar 30, 2011 at 02:09 PM
    Contraband is smuggled in a different way in Wakulla County. They used to drop things off at the waterworks dept where a law enforcement now ex wife worked. You could order most anything for a price. Then on of the trustees was arrested for hit and run and had to go to prison. Sigh.
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