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Saturday, November 23, 2013

CA prisons finding new ways to prevent drug-smuggling

KCRA 3They are supposed to be maximum security facilities, but drugs continue to find their way into California's prisons.

Contraband is smuggled in by wives, mothers and even babies, according to California prison officials. Even prison staff has been busted for smuggling in contraband.

In an effort to combat smuggling, California Corrections State Secretary Jeff Beard has ordered the purchase of Labrador retrievers.

"These are more people-friendly dogs, passive," said corrections dog trainer Sgt. Wayne Conrad.

The dogs are graduates from a training program in Galt, and have mastered the ability to find drugs hidden in places like diapers.

On Nov. 18th, more than a half a dozen non-aggressive dogs were just launched into Solano, Tracy, San Quentin, and other California prisons. For now they will only target the inmates.

But Beard told KCRA 3 that by this summer, he hopes the dogs can be used for visitors, corrections staff, and vendors entering prisons.

"They would walk around the person, and if they detected (an) odor, they would sit; much what you see at the airports," said Conrad.

The goal is for the dogs to find any drugs that visitors might be trying to smuggle into the prisons.

Officer Paul Medina, who works at Solano State Prison, said the dogs are desperately needed because inmates have said it is easier for them to get drugs in prison than it is on the streets. continue reading...

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