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Proposal: Drugs in Prison

A drug is a chemical intoxicant that, when ingested, can lead to the modification of one or more body functions.  There is a huge problem with drugs in prisons, especially with synthetic drugs becoming prominent.  Making it easier to sneak into prisons.  An example of a synthetic drug in prison is K2, which is human-made mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized or eat K2  We need to try to find ways to prevent different types of drugs getting into the prison system, so that we can start rehabilitating the prisoners.  

The Issue

Problem Defined

The problem we are trying to solve is preventing drugs from getting into prisons.  What ways can we help to prevent that?  How is this going to affect the prison system?  

Expand all bullets
Cell Phone'sMORE

Cell phones could pose a huge security risk if smuggled in to a prison. While some prisoners use their mobile devices simply for harmless communication or web browsing, others use them for illegal activity. These may include gang control, taunting witnesses, planning escapes, or arrangement of other serious crimes. An example is in New York, an inmate used a cell phone to orchestrate an attempted escape while on a medical transfer.  Prisoners have also used cell phones to harass and threaten their victims.  There are multiple ways cell phones are smuggled into prison, they are dirty staff, they are smuggled in by visitors, who undergo tougher security checks, by inmates who are permitted to leave. 


Suboxone is the brand name for a prescription medication used in treating those addicted to opioids, illegal or prescription. It contains the ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid, blocks the opiate receptors and reduces a person's urges.  One strip of Suboxone can be cut up into 30 pieces and total price is $210.  Ways the inmates get Suboxone in prison are through Legal mail or books who their family send them.  


Some people are using those to distribute the deadly street drug known as K2 or Spice. Alot of time people will put K2 on children pictures and bring them into the prisoners. These drugs, formally known as synthetic cannabis, are among those drugs being sprayed onto crayon illustrations and smuggled into prisons. K2 is known as synthetic marijuana, K2 is not traditional marijuana at all. It is a mixture of shredded plant material that is sprayed with harmful, mind-altering chemicals that create unpredictable and life-threatening effects for recreational users. Those include an elevated mood, relaxed state, an altered perception of reality, and psychosis, which is delusional and disordered thinking.   

Go deeper
Cell Phones in Prisons

NIJ - (Invalid date)



Seth Amezcua
- Allegany College Of Maryland
Jair Andrews
Adrienne Wallace

The Solution

Proposed Actions
Expand all bullets
Technology and Resources MORE

Having better technologies and better resources in prison to help prevent drugs and contraband coming into prison.  Vehicle-borne detection, this technology it can contraband concealed in cars and trucks that come onto correctional facility grounds and include camera systems, visual search aids, and drive-through systems.

Technology and ResourcesMORE

Technologies used to find contraband concealed on a person, including within body cavities, and that include mainly handheld and walk-through devices.   This would help prevent contraband coming in through visitation.

Technology and ResourcesMORE

Having drug sniffing dogs located at every prison.  This help prevent and deter contraband from coming into to the prison.

Technology and Resources MORE

Having inmates mail legal or regular go to one singular location and have them scanned and sent to the inmates email.


Have video visitation which means the inmates would see their visitors through a screen.


Have stricter policy on sneaking contraband in and having contraband on you.  For the inmates maybe having a fine and extra time onto their sentence.  For the staff charge them and prosecute to the full extent.  

Expected Results
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Drug sniffing dogsMORE

With this the result we are looking for the dogs to prevent a certain percent of visitors and even dirty staff sneaking in contraband.  

Policy MORE

To deter staff and the inmates to even think about bringing in contraband.  With inmates there is not alot of discretion but with staff alot of the times they are allowed to resign and not be prosecuted. 


Would completely stop contraband coming from the visitors. 

Technology and ResourcesMORE

This would prevent any drugs coming in through the mail. 


The budget would consider the cost of the number of dogs in prisons, all of the technological items put in place for detection, the central mailing agency, and staffing payroll.  The complete budget, a study would have to be done to find the final budget.  

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