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Drugs in the prison system have been a problem for corrections personnel for many years. The problems with drugs in prison are different in many parts of the country but the question remains to be how the drugs get into the correctional facilities. The breakdown of the use and abuse of illicit drugs within the prison systems is being based on a worldwide issue.

The issue with drugs in the prison system consist of many things such as the widespread of flow of drugs in and out of the prison system, the control of or lack of control by prison employees, the drug gangs and the drug dealers that distribute the drug in the correctional facilities, the pace of addiction, and treatments that are available to inmates suffering from the drug addictions. The main problem with drugs in prison has to do a lot with gang control within the correctional facilities especially in Mexico.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Six out of 10 Mexican prisons are “self-governed” by prison gangs or drug cartels. ” The commission representative has informed that Mexico’s prisons are overcrowded and the shortage of staff and corrupted staff members is what the main problem is. Of the 430 prisons in the country 60 percent are controlled by criminal gangs. Overcrowding in the prisons and jails is a dilemma that is occurring in the national penal system.

Mexico has only six federal prisons, where houses the dangerous cartel suspects and other inmates that are in there for drug trafficking, weapons possession and money laundering which are consider to be federal crimes in Mexico which bring increase to overcrowding in the prisons (Diaz , 2012) Do to all the overcrowding which most of the inmates pertain to the drug has brought the prison system to be controlled by organized crime. Since prison employees are under paid that’s where corruption comes in because the prison guards are more likely to be paid better working for the drug cartel and helping them out while they are in prison.

Also if one neglects to work for them the prison guards are vulnerable to have problems in which the gangs may focus their angry towards their families (Diaz , 2012). The most amazing case in the prison corruption was a result of a massacre outside the prisons walls in 2010. The guards and the prison officials in a prison in the state Durango in Mexico allowed cartel prisoners to leave and gave them guns and gave them official vehicles to carry out a drug related plan that resulted in a massacre of death of 17 people who were at a rented dance hall.

When they had finished the job they returned to their prison cells knowing that they will be safe from the rival gang members. Corruption is huge in Mexico do the enormous threat of the drug cartel in which the whole prison system is corrupted. All of the corruption that happens in Mexico can be traced to the prisons around the world because in every prison there are gangs in which they have some control including having people smuggling in drug (Diaz, 2012).

In many big state prison systems, a blend of inmate cleverness, complicit visitors and fraudulent staff has kept the height of prisoner drug abuse steady over the years in spite of intensive efforts to decrease it. For example in 2010 a correctional officer by the name of Richard Pillajo, was known to be a good educated officer at a Florida state prison was arrested for planning to smuggle in drugs for a pay off amount of $2,500 to the inmates (“Drugs inside prison,” 2010).

Another problem is a modern boom in cell-phone smuggling has convoluted matters; with prisoners every so often use phones to make drug deliveries arrangements. Since the 2010 incident Florida has put into operation an anti-contraband tactics that include drug-detecting dog teams, metal detectors and the searches conducted of staff and visitors at, and most shocking random pat-down searches of staff (“Drugs inside prison,” 2010). In the United States correction officials state many of the drug trade that is done are controlled by the gangs.

The gang related drug activity in California is the number one cause of violence in the prisons. When rots occur in the prison by two different gangs it is normally do to a drug deal that has gone wrong, since all the gangs are involved in narcotics(“Drugs inside prison,” 2010). Illegal drugs are found in all types of prisons event the federal prison that would make you think that it would be impossible to have any drugs in such secure prisons. The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) institutions have the problems with illegal drugs in their facilities.

The way they determine that they have this problem is by the evidence that is presented which is: drug testing done on inmates, overdoses, drugs that are found within the facility, staff and visitors. There has been a review that was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Evaluation and Inspections Division in which it studies to determine how the drugs are entered into the BOP establishments and it also looks at on how the BOPs are doing in order to try to deal with the problem (“The federal bureau,” 2003).

What was found was that the BOP’s tactic to avoid drugs from being entered into that facility is based into two main plans: (1) stopping the supply of drugs through an assortment of outlawing activities; and (2) the increase of demand for drugs by giving inmates a drug abuse treatment. In order to prevent the delivery of drugs, the BOP prohibition activities focal point on the facility’s method of entry for example visitors, staff, mail, , volunteers, and any area of the facility that has accesses within the building (“The federal bureau,” 2003).

To diminish the demand for drugs, the BOP proposes a drug treatment to prisoners through many institution-based programs, including drug abuse education, non-residential drug abuse treatment in BOP establishments, and residential drug treatment in BOP establishments (“The federal bureau,” 2003) According to the OIG that have found that the three primary ways that the drugs enter the facility is by visitors, staff, and mail. They have found out that the BOP have been successful to prevent smuggling by the visitors and by mail but if has failed to take serious measures to prevent drug smuggling by its employees.

It is a known fact that in many correctional institutions that they search the staff, limit the personal property that the staff are allowed to bring into the facility, and conducting random drug tests, are not done by the BOP. The treatments that the BOP offers are miscalculated and they and inefficiently keep track of the inmates’ needs for treatment (“The federal bureau,” 2003). The smuggling of drugs into the BOPs facilities have been determines to be its own staff members. From the OIG data from 1997 through 2001 have found that 34 BOP employees have been arrested for bringing or attempting to bring in drugs into the institutions.

Some of the examples of staff arrest include: a food service person was arrested and pled guilty to bribery and one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine into FCI Miami, Florida. In 2000, a correctional officer tries to distribute approximately 109 grams of crack cocaine, 73 grams of black tar heroin, and 25 grams of white heroin into USP Beaumont, Texas. It just comes to show that all prisons have drug problems even the federal prisons (“The federal bureau,” 2003). Prison overcrowding is a big problem in all prisons.

As a result of the overcrowding has caused more problems with drug use and distribution in the prison system. In 2010 the nation’s prison population surpasses 1. 4 million inmates one out of every 100 Americans is inhabited in prison. Many of the prisoners are in there doing to a drug related or drug influence crime. Due to the overcrowding in the state and federal prison, it cause drug trafficking and drug use within the prison walls (“Drug use in,” 2012). Today 19 states surpass the maximum capacity by 100%. Not having sufficient supervision it makes it possible for inmates to smuggle and make drugs.

Due to the lack of supervision it makes it possible for inmates to produce alcohol in which is the easiest one to make because the things that are need to make it are found in the cafeteria (“Drug use in,” 2012). Again gangs are a big influence of drugs in the prisons such as selling and making and drug trading within the correctional facilities. Gangs continue to grow among the prison population and they tend to work together to deceive the guards from what they are truly doing. The gangs also have communication to the outside and also run the drug trade from the inside (“Drug use in,” 2012).

The majority of the prison populations are drug users. There is estimation that 50% of the inmates in the European Union have been linked to drug use in their lives and more than 80% in the United States (Dolan, Khoei, Brentari & Stevens, 2007). Prisoners that inject drug are almost half of the prisons’ population. In the United Kingdom the prisoners have reported that they have used illicit drugs which are about 80% of the population (Dolan, Khoei, Brentari & Stevens, 2007). Numerous inmates keep on using drugs while they are in prison. About 40% of prisoners have acknowledged of using drugs inside the prison.

Heroin is used by the inmates while in prison which also include the injection. The amount of inmates that continue to use heroin while in prison is about 16% to 60% of the population. A German study has found that 75% of inmates who have injected before being imprisoned continue to inject while inside (Dolan, Khoei, Brentari & Stevens, 2007). All over the country correctional facilities struggle trying to keep the prisons safe and drug free. Canada is countries that also have the problem with drug use in its prisons. It is known that eight out of ten penitentiaries have a drug abuse problem (Jason, 2010).

Drug use in the prison raises big concern because it can lead to violence, criminal activity and even transmitted diseases such as HIV (Jason, 2010). In order to control the problem of drugs in the correctional facilities in Canada they have developed a program and policies that seek to reduce the supply and demand for drugs. In order to keep true their policies that Canadians correctional staff keep drugs from entering the facility, they help inmates with their drug abuse problems, and help diminish the harm related with substance abuse (Jason, 2010). More than 5,000 people enter and leave Canada’s correctional institutions every day.

So in order to keep the institution safe they have metal detectors, ion scanners, and drug detection dogs that are used to sniff the visitors, staff, and contract workers (Jason, 2010). The correctional staff are also required to search the inmates cells and all of the building to find any drugs, The five percent of the inmates are to undergo a urine test to detect drug use and if drug use is detected they will be punished (Jason, 2010). Along with the entire drug use there has to be treatment also to try to keep the inmates clean while they are locked up.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has a basic philosophy of cognitive behavioral treatment (D. O. J, 2011). The BOP has drug abuse programs and the start of a psychology treatment programs that give treatment to the mentally ill and the ones with behavioral problems. The BOPs drug abuse approach is a broad treatment which includes: •Drug Abuse Education •Nonresidential Drug Abuse Treatment. •Psychology treatment programs ( D. O. J, 2011) These are just a few of the programs that the BOP offers to all the inmates. The BOPs drug treatment program has made a considerable difference in the inmate’s lives, families, and communities (D.

O. J, 2011). BOP will continue to revise its programming to provide an even more successful result for the inmates so that when they do return to their communities they are to be changed people and will do good for themselves and will ensure the safety of the community. Overall the information that has been gathered and analyzes it comes to be noticed that there are many drug problems inside all prisons from around the country. The prison officials have been trying to keep control of the situation but they have encountered problems such as corruption and trafficking drugs into the prison by family members or mail.

The worst of all of the corruptions is in Mexico because almost all of the guards are working for the inmates in which they belong to the drug cartels and there is no control in their prisons. Another thing that was found is that even the federal prisons have problems with drug trafficking in which comes to surprise that many of their employees are the ones smuggling in the contraband into the prisons. Many of these prisons offer treatment to all inmates but form the looks of it is not working because as long as we drug trafficking in the prisons it will just keep the inmates hooked onto the drugs causing problems in the prison. The only thing that can be done is just to keep tighter security and hope for the best.


Diaz , L. (2012, September 24). Report shows most mexican prisons controlled by inmates. Chicago Tribune . Retrieved from http://articles. chicagotribune. com/2012-09-24/news/sns-rt-us-mexico-prisonbre88o026-20120924_1_prison-guards-corrupt-prison-officials-mexican-prisons Dolan, K. , Khoei, E. M. , Brentari, C. , & Stevens, A. (2007, June). Prisons and drugs:a global review of incarceration, drug use and services. Retrieved from http://www. beckleyfoundation. org/pdf/Beckley_RPT12_Prisons_Drugs_EN. pdf D. O. J. (2011).

Retrieved from Department of Justice website: http://www. bop. gov/inmate_programs/substance. jsp Drugs inside prison walls. (2010, January 27). Retrieved from http://www. washingtontimes. com/news/2010/jan/27/drugs-inside-prison-walls/? page=all Jason, D. (2010, April 12). Drugs in prison. Public safety Canada. Retrieved from http://www. publicsafety. gc. ca/prg/cor/acc/ff2-eng. aspx The federal bureau of prisons’ drug interdiction activities. (2003, January). Retrieved from http://www. justice. gov/oig/reports/BOP/e0302/final. pdf (2012). Drug use in the prison system. Retrieved from http://www. thehillscenter. com/addiction/in-prison/

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