Trying to keep contraband from inside prisons
MIDDLEBURG – After three drug busts at the Snyder County Prison in less than a year, Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz says they need to consider new ways to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, inmates are bringing the contraband into the prison inside their bodies and Pennsylvania officials may not perform cavity searches without probable cause. Kantz gave a suggestion on one possible solution.
Kantz said, “If we could hold them for a number of hours until that item is passed, and they are locked in a cell where they can not get it to someone else inside the institution, that’s something we have to look at. We’ve been looking at that as a possible policy change.”
District Attorney Mike Piecuch suggested electronic devices that could span the body, but Kantz said that may not help. Kantz stated, “Number one, they are very expensive. Number two, they don’t necessarily do what we need them to do. They will detect metal objects and things like that.”
He added, “In order to get a scanner that is going to scan the entire body for these types of things they are bringing in, that type of technology is being developed and it’s very expensive. It’s not necessarily something that would be feasible for the county.”
Piecuch said people can die from using their bodies to smuggle illegal items into the prison, if the drugs seep out of the containers and into the body. Kantz said it is a problem all over the United States. He said, “ If you have a prison, you have this problem.” He said, “If there was a way to stop this completely, everyone would be doing it.” (Ali Stevens)