Every day in the prison, I see inmates socializing, laughing, trying to speak in code around staff, because they think we don't know what they're saying, but we do.  We just don't care.  They make deals, they arrange shipments of tobacco, pot, or other drugs, and they know when to expect them.  They pass contraband back and forth between dorms through open windows.  We call that a cadillac.  They put a cadillac on a string from above, and lower it to the dorm below. 

Where do they get the contraband from?  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.  Since there's so much emphasis on having inmates do work around the prison, all one has to do is leave the contraband somewhere where the prisoner can simply pick it up.  There is a lot of lawn area in and around the prison, that needs to be mowed regularly during the summer time.  There's never a shortage of prisoners who want to operate the ZTR mowers provided by the state for a day of driving around on the grounds, because any packages that may be lying in the tall grass can be swooped up in the blink of an eye.  Another source, visitors; especially women are notorious for bringing things in for "their man."  We all know that women have places to hide things that won't be searched.  The medium security prison allows for face-to-face visits, where the two sit across from each other without a table, hold hands, sometimes kiss, and although the prisoner is supposed to be strip searched after a visit, they seldom are.  The visit location was moved from a location with cameras looking from every corner of the room, to a location with no cameras at all.  The location has been in use for years, and the administration has yet to ask for any cameras to be installed, making me think that they are somehow involved, or are uninterested with the movement of goods via visits.  Then there's staff.  As a staff member myself, it pains me to think that other staff members would traffic anything to these people, but they do.  Maybe it's for the huge profit that can be made, maybe it's because they're fellow gang members, but whatever the reason, I find it wholly unacceptable.  In the maximum security facility, where vistors have to speak to their inmate through a phone, and a glass window, prison cell shake downs find cell phones in the prison cell.  Where inmates are not allowed to leave their cells unless they're hand cuffed, and recreation consists of 1 hour alone in a completely enclosed space with nothing but an excersize bicycle.  Where else can these people get contraband except from staff?  Recently, a truck driver was busted for trying to bring in dozens of cell phones with a food delivery. 

Can it be stopped?  Probably not.  Staff, if caught, are almost never punished beyond losing their job.  Vistors caught are simply banned from the premesis in most cases.  Only when large amounts are found, does anyone ever get arrested, but the punishment is minimal at best.  It's a travesty of our prison system when an inmate claims he can get more drugs in prison that on the street.  A few policy changes would greatly reduce the amount of contraband coming into the prison, but nobody seems to care, as long as the prisoners aren't rioting.

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