Who’s running the prisons: Prisoners or law enforcement?

By Shelby Rodgers

Guest columnist

Our law enforcement is failing to stop drugs from coming into the United States and drug trafficking all over the world. If law-enforcers are supposed to protect the people and prevent illegal drug trafficking why is there so much corruption in correctional facilities across the nation? If a controlled environment as a prison cannot keep illicit drugs from entering the prison population, then one would have to believe that global drug trafficking will never entirely cease. Law enforcement failure to prevent drugs from entering the prisons is confusing at best. If a controlled environment like a prison cannot keep drugs out how are we supposed to prevent drug trafficking globally? Inmates somehow are still dealing and taking illegal drugs even when incarnated. We as the world have a huge situation that is not likely to go away anytime soon.

According to the Drug Abuse.net, some continents such as Europe think decriminalization is the answer to the drug trafficking problem. Europe is leading the way in believing that decriminalization will solve this global drug problem. The question is can Europe still provide health and well-being for their citizens. Switzerland has one of the most liberal policies when it comes to drug trafficking. They provide safe rooms for their drug users and concentrate more on prevention, decreasing use of drugs and therapy programs to control the drug problem. The Netherlands view the drug problem as a health issue, not a criminal issue. The United Kingdom’s stance on drugs is no different from the 20th century, and they have their ideas on how to control the drug usage with strict penalties including imprisonment. Australian views are similar to the United States with an emphasis on education in the schools at an early stage. The United States has harsh penalties for drug possession, evident by how many people in prison have drug issues.

Quinn implies, prisoners do not want to leave the jail systems because it is easy to get cheap drugs, and the drugs are plentiful. The abuse of heroin and other opiates are more popular than cannabis in the England and Wales prisons. When random testing the inmates one in every six inmates tested positive for opiates. Everthorpe Prison ranked ninth worse regarding drug use since 9.4 percent of their inmates tested positive for drugs. The Featherstone Prison, close to Wolverhampton, has the highest level of 16.7 percent testing positive for drugs. The drugs are much cheaper on the inside than the outside, so prisoners are much happier to stay in jail. Britain’s correctional facilities are overcrowded and do not have an excellent staffing ratio.

The Liverpool Daily Echo, Usher, contends that feels that every prison in the country has a drug problem. Witnesses are intimidated so most likely they will not report an issue in fear of getting beat up. Belgium and Holland are even using mobile blocker in an attempt to block cell phone usage of the inmates. Mandatory random drug testing, strategic fencing and the use of many drug agencies is helping prisoners get off drugs. Extended sentencing is handed down to inmates that are caught dealing with illegal drugs in the prison which sends a message to the other prisoners.

It was reported by, the Goucester Citizen News, that 45 people attempted to sneak in illegal drugs into the Gloucester Prison last year. “Everybody knows that there are drugs freely available in the Gloucester Prison.” Many people go into the prison without a drug problem, but when they come out, they have a drug usage issue. Random drug testing of inmates, as well as the use of drug dogs during visiting times, are often used. If prisoners test positive during random drug testing, they will have to go through a detox program.

The New Zealand Hearld generally, points out that a fifth of all prisoners uses drugs while incarnated. As many as 204 cannabis plants were found growing at the Rangipo Prison, close to Turangi. The correctional officers say prisoners did not grow the plants. Drugs are being delivered by visitors, found in the mail, in personal belonging and even brought in by the prison staff.

In the Bangkok Post (Thailand), Laohong reports the findings of 16 mobile cell phones, 0.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine, and sharp steel rods seized inside the walls of this prison. Officials are researching money laundering. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) gave a deadline for the drug trafficking problem with prisoners reduced to “zero” within a month.

Bali Times (Indonesia) claims the Kerobokan Prison has never had a grip on how things managed. This prison has psychopaths, serial killers, and drug users all mixed with only 17 guards to watch over 1,000 inmates. One inmate interviewed said “room service” was not limited to food. The jail was 300 percent over capacity. Riots and gang stabbing occurred, and all inmates lived on the edge. The prison comes off as a cheap resort. Several guards convicted on drug charges and a police officer convicted of running drugs for a prisoner and went to jail for five years.

Corrections commissioner Homer Bryson reported there are many situations across the United States where the corrections guards are taking bribes and allowing contraband cellphones and drugs into the correctional facilities. Many officials arrested for allowing contraband inside the state prisons. Correctional guards, former contract employees, parolees and current inmates have been found to be involved. Inmates have even been caught running identity theft scams and drug distribution circles while in prison. Contraband cell phones are a huge problem when they sneaked into the prisons because this allowed the criminals contact with the outside world. If the inmates have access to criminals outside the correctional facility, then it is just a matter of time before they are making deals outside the prison walls.

The Lima News (Ohio) reported a former guard was sentenced to one year in jail after bringing drugs into the prison. The courts fined her $5,000, and she resigned from her guard position. She was bringing in marijuana, cocaine, DVD players and cell phones, which were behind a wall register in a cell.

Without law enforcement putting in more efforts to stop the drug trafficking problem drugs will be all over and you won’t be able to look to anywhere without drugs being trafficked around you because even though they are considered drug free places they are full of corruption and illegal distribution of drugs. As you can see from all the correctional facilities listed above, across the world, they all have illegal drug issues. As the Canadian Press reported, “The animals are now running the zoo.”

Shelby Rodgers is a Troy High School and Edison State Commuinty College student.

Shelby Rodgers is a Troy High School and Edison State Commuinty College student.