Report: Ohio prison contraband up 64 percent since 2013


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nearly 6,500 items of contraband were seized in Ohio’s prisons last year, a 64 percent increase from 2013, according to a new report.

A Correctional Institution Inspection Committee report released this week shows the number of seizures was up from about 5,200 seizures in 2014 and 4,000 in 2013, The Columbus Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1obbcd5 ) Thursday. That’s up.

The legislative prison watchdog agency says the jump is probably due to more contraband coming into the prisons and an increase in searches. The report shows that drugs and alcohol were the most common items seized, along with weapons, cellphones and tobacco.

From 2010 to 2015, more than 2,600 cellphones were seized in all, according to the report.

Staff members and visitors sometimes bring in contraband. It’s also brought in via mail or thrown over fences, and drones have been used to drop contraband into prison yards.

“Unsurprisingly, major contraband has a strong correlation with violence,” the report said. “Illegal substances and weapons in particular are commodities in prison that can result in conflicts between rival gangs or individual inmates. Confiscating contraband is an important goal of prison security.”

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com