Contraband is an ongoing problem inside Georgia prisons and Commissioner Homer Bryson has forced efforts to try to reduce the amount of illegal items circulating inside prison walls.
The Department of Corrections recently released their second quarter numbers indicating that more than 6,800 items were seized in Georgia prisons around the state through front line inspections and facility shakedowns. The GDoC also utilizes tactical squads and K9 units to aid in the effort.
“We made a promise to be ‘tough on crime from within’ and we are keeping that promise,” said Commissioner Bryson said in a statement released to the public. “Our agency is determined to remain active in our fight to combat the ever-growing threat that contraband poses to the safety of our staff, inmates and the citizens of Georgia.”
The Georgia Department of Corrections reports the following seizures of items in the dates ranging April 1- June 30, 2016.
- 1,468 cell phones
- 854 cell phone chargers
- 1,160 handmade weapons
- 6,322.21 grams of marijuana (337 bags/balloons)
- 61,604.07 grams of tobacco (1,886.5 bags/balloons)
- 817.8 grams of meth (154.5 bags/balloons)
- 34.7 grams of cocaine (5 bags/balloons)
- 1 gram of heroin (1 bag/balloon)
- 687.6 pills
- 115 bottles of alcohol
- 83 bundles of financial information (i.e. green dot cards, pre-paid cards, card numbers)
- 24 syringes
- 19 SIM cards
- 9 SD cards
These items were confiscated through front line programs to stop the entrance of the items into facilities. GDoC staff screen packages, limit interaction during shift change, use canines for cell phone detection, secure storage, use scanners and thermal images, and work with perimeter netting. The agency utilizes enhanced front line and technological methods to assist with preventing contraband from entering our facilities.
The Georgia Department of Corrections also conducted a series of shakedowns across facilities which, the department says, yielded more than 1,800 items. Shakedowns require immense effort on the part of over 400 tactical squad personnel, a team of investigators, and 10-15 K9s. From April 1 – June 30, the following items were seized:
- 596 handmade weapons
- 135 cell phones
- 85 cell phone chargers
- 569.5 grams of tobacco (45 instances)
- 655.9 grams of marijuana (66 instances)
- 74.5 grams of meth (7 instances)
- 762 pills (i.e. vicodin, venlafaxine)
- 65 bundles of financial transaction numbers & materials
- 14 cell phone batteries
- 2 syringes
- 3.87 gallons plus 19 bottles of homemade alcohol
- 5 SIM cards