Contraband. It's been the bane of prisons since day one. Inmates are forever wanting the things they can't have or aren't allowed to have in prison and there is always somebody somewhere who is willing and stupid enough to try and bring it in to them.
A couple of our main concerns are drugs, cell phones and cash money. The other two things they crave other than their freedom is sex and real edible food.
But I'm not going there. Not tonight, anyway.
We don't "search" the visitors when they come in. They have to take everything out of their pockets and pass through a metal detector before they are allowed in the visiting room. It's about all that we are allowed to do. So sometimes things do get through that way.
Though the other day a visitor was escorted off with the investigator and a couple of local deputies for questioning. Apparently there had been a tip of some sort that she might be bringing in drugs, but they didn't find anything on her. But then, without her actually being arrested, there's a limit on how thoroughly they could search her then, too. You never know.
This afternoon when we came on shift we all had to go through the visiting room and get searched ourselves. It happens now and then.
I bitch and moan about it and consider it an affront, but I don't take it personally. After all, it's people I know going through my lunch box and patting me down and I've taken part on the other end of a few staff searches.
And it seems like at least once a year someone ends up getting escorted out of the institution after being caught smuggling in something they shouldn't. We all shake our heads and say "Really? What a freaking idiot!"
We spend a good portion of each and every day searching the inmates and the buildings and grounds for contraband. They found a "shank" or prison made weapon in my house on Friday night while I was elsewhere. Usually what they find when they search is extra clothing and tattoo guns.
But occasionally they score something big and it makes us all look and feel good about our jobs.
And the search goes on.....
Tuesday is going to be National "Joe" Day (Hey, Joe!), Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day, Viagra Day (evil grin) and National Spanish Paella Day.
Whatever the snap a Paella is.
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