Jeff Davis Parish jail combats inmates smuggling in contraband

Published: May. 29, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Jennings, LA (KPLC) - Inmates in jails getting their hands on things like drugs, how does it happen?

7News recently brought you the story of an inmate overdosing while in custody at the Jeff Davis Parish jail, sparking the questions: how was he able to get the drugs and what efforts do jails pursue to prevent it from happening?

“Well this has been an ongoing thing for as long as they’ve had jails that people are trying to figure out ways to smuggle items in,” Jeff Davis Parish Chief Deputy Chris Ivey said.

While sneaking in contraband is nothing new, Ivey said some inmates go to great lengths hiding things like drugs and weapons in their hair, body cavities, and any other way they can think of.

“We discovered they were soaking notepaper and envelopes into illegal narcotics like meth and fentanyl,” Ivey said. “And mail it in and then the inmates were able to get high from chewing the paper.”

Ivey explained correctional officers have to be extremely diligent in checking inmates for anything they shouldn’t have.

“Traditional way is searching them and we’ve obtained an x-ray machine like you see at the airport that is able to x-ray the inmate as he goes through,” Ivey said. “That way you can check under his clothing and see if he’s hiding anything.”

He said anytime an inmate goes outside the jail for any reason they are to be searched for contraband when they return.

“When they do trash pick-up on the side of the road, things like that, that gives these trustees access to the outside world where they can pick up something and try to hide it and smuggle it into the jail,” Ivey said.

Despite efforts to prevent contraband, inmates still find ways to get their hands on it.

It’s a serious situation that can lead to overdose, even death.

Ivey warns any inmate caught with contraband or anyone caught assisting in smuggling it in will face charges.