Monday, February 11, 2013

Drug use may not stop at the jail gate

Jail is where people who use or sell illegal drugs end up.  However, using or distributing illegal drugs may not end while behind the walls.

In Snyder County (PA), a jail inmate is charged with smuggling drugs into county jail and another had to have surgery to remove a container of pills from her body, reported The Daily Item.

It’s the third drug bust inside the prison in less than a year, prompting county officials to consider new ways to detect contraband, including scanning devices, since prison staff in Pennsylvania may not perform cavity searches on inmates without probable cause, Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch told The Daily Item.

Piecuch said contraband inside prisons will continue to be a problem as long as inmates are willing to take the risk of using their bodies to smuggle illegal items in.

The risk is real and “people can die” if drugs seep out of containers accidently and into the inmate’s bloodstream.

The latest bust at the county jail took place when heroin, Methadone and tobacco began turning up on Jan. 10 after Ashlee E. White, 27, of Shamokin, was brought in on a bench warrant, court records said.

Two days later, Warden Ruth Rush called Snyder County detective William Neitz Jr. to investigate after seven inmates, including White, tested positive for Methadone, a painkiller that is used to treat addiction, repored The Daily Item.

On Jan. 16, Union County Warden Douglas Shaffer informed Neitz that Amy Zigarski, a former Snyder inmate,was taken to a hospital in Centre County for a cavity search because staff believed she may have brought something with her from the Snyder County jail, court records said.

An X-ray confirmed Zigarski had concealed something in her body, and she was sent to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for further evaluation. Medical staff removed a container of pills from her body the next day, court records said.

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