Impact Georgia Impact Georgia Special Edition | Page 2
By Lisa Rodriguez-Presley
ast year, Georgia was in
the national news when an
attempt was made to fly
contraband over the fence at a
facility utilizing an aerial drone.
While the method was unique,
the problem itself is not new.
Contraband in prison is an issue
officials have dealt with since the
inception of our correctional system. It’s a continual battle to keep
items such as tobacco products,
drugs and, most recently, cellphones out of prison facilities,
and the methods of smuggling
these items in are constantly
evolving. The Georgia Department of Corrections’ response to
the problem is evolving as well,
with staff combatting the problem using the latest technology
For the average citizen the
scope of the problem is difficult
to grasp. On its face, it seems
to be a simple issue to solve.
You have people living in a controlled environment, behind bars
and fences with people to guard
them. Why then, is it so difficult
to keep contraband out of the
hands of inmates?
According to Ricky Myrick, Director of the Office of Professional Standards for the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC),
the answer is simple – money.
Contraband is a lucrative business in prison, with cell phones
in particular fetching prices of
$500 - $1,000 per phone. To
those doing the smuggling,
whether they are an inmate or
a staff member, the risk of getting caught can be outweighed
by the potential financial reward.
As a smuggler, when you’re taking an item inside you only have
This dsplay representts a small portion of the cell phones seized from inmates in Georgia
Prison Facilities in 2011.