More dog searches, more careful guards: opioid crisis weighs on prisons
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 04.06.17
(Harrisburg) -- The opioid crisis has touched nearly every part of society, including prisons.
Cumberland County Prison Warden Earl Reitz says the most common items they're finding on people is opioid contraband - needles, little bags, or sometimes the addiction treatment drug, suboxone.
Reitz says they've encouraged staff to look out for the items as they search people.
Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste says drugs haven't been as much of a problem there, but prison staff send warnings.
"We bring the dogs in more frequently than we probably have in the past, just to let the population know that we're checking on them and it's also training at times for the dogs," says Haste. "We probably have seen a slight uptick in people trying to mail in drugs, maybe more than the past, but not a whole lot."
And in York County, Warden Dennis Bowen says they randomly drug-test people coming back from work release.
"We don't drug test each and every one of them every day because of the volume of the people going out, we do the random searches on them."
Bowen says there isn't a lot that the prison can do to solve the opioid crisis.
"It seems to be a greater problem. It would appear that it has grown over that course of time, and the problem is much more profound, at least at this period of time."