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The majority of the contraband in prison comes from correctional officers or staff members who have been bribed, extorted or coerced into aiding the inmates.
A prison is a confined environment and any inmate who has the money and the “juice” can quickly discover which members of the prison’s staff are either corrupt, corruptible, or simply “weak”. From there, the inmates can make deals with the guards, extort guards into working for them, or use confederates on the outside to exploit weaker members of the staff using a host of schemes and scams.
The staff are searched when they enter the prison. However, since they are employees, since they are supposed to be “trustworthy”, and since they know the weaknesses in the system, they can easily exploit the prison’s lack of scrutiny and understaffing to their advantage. And even though the staff is “searched”, these searches are usually only lunch containers, backpacks, and purses; they don’t have to submit to strip searches or cavity searches.
The staff member will bring in what the inmates demand, and then either leave it at a pre-designated drop, or hand it off directly to the inmate in an area that is outside the range of the facility’s cameras. They are then paid (usually by an outside source to disguise the origin of the income) and the cycle can begin again. This usually occurs until the staff member is caught, quits or the inmate is released from the facility.
In certain cases, inmates will use family members or friends because it’s cheaper and “easier”. They have the family member bring in the contraband and then they have them drop it (usually in a restroom) so that it can be retrieved at a later time by another inmate working for the inmate drug dealer. This can be “problematic”, as the relative/friend can be arrested on felony charges if they are found to have been smuggling drugs or money into a prison.
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