Booze and drugs litter prison compound

| 18/09/2013

(CNS): Prison authorities have recovered well over two pounds of ganja over the last fewdays, which they suspect was lobbed into the prison compound over the two 15-foot fences that surround the facility. According to officials, a number of packages of contraband were found at HMP Northward this morning, yesterday morning and over the weekend. The package found today, Wednesday 18 September, contained two plastic bottles filled with white rum, as well as a parcel of almost nine ounces of what the prison described as vegetable matter but is understood to be ganja. These were found in an old paint can located near the tilapia fish tank at the rear of the prison.

Yesterday a package containing ganja, which was wrapped in duct tape and weighed over one pound, was saidto have been discovered near the grow-box area, where it had landed after it was apparently thrown over the prison fence. At the weekend officials seized two similar packages totalling almost 12 ounces of what was believed to be ganja that had been found around the prison.

After a history of the prison authorities turning a blind eye to the ganja use by inmates, as documented in a recent prison report that described very high levels of illegal drug use in Northward, the new prison director, Neil Lavis, has adopted a zero-tolerance policy. As a result, officers have found and confiscated considerably more contraband over the last few months than has ever been previously reported, including cell phones, smoking papers, alcohol and ganja. All of these finds were on the compound or in the process of being smuggled into the prison by inmates, the authorities said.

The prison also claims that drug counselling is available to all inmates but it is understood that it is nowhere near the standard required and, despite the levels of addiction among prisoners, few of them are using the services.

The UK prison inspectorate’s report published last year found high numbers of prisoners arrived at Northward with either drug or alcohol problems and its survey showed that a further 13% developed a problem while in prison.

“In spite of this, there was no provision for prisoners with drug or alcohol misuse issues to receive clinical treatment,” the inspectors said. “In our survey, 24% of men had had a problem with drugs and 13% with alcohol on arrival at Northward, and a further 13% said that they had developed a problem with illegal drugs while at the establishment. In spite of these statistics, there was no provision for prisoners with drug or alcohol misuse issues to receive immediate, safe, effective and individualised clinical treatment,” the report stated. In addition, less than a quarter of inmates said they knew who to ask about help with drug dependency issues

The prison works on a regime of punishment, and although addiction is an illness, those found with contraband lose sentence remission time and other privileges but are still not properly treated for their drug dependency. In many cases, the report also found that some prisoners misusing drugs were also suffering from undiagnosed and untreated mental health problems.

The inspectorate found that little effort was made to control the smuggling of contraband into the prison, but the authorities have noted the particular problems they face with drugs being thrown over the fences. 

Although the perimeter fences are covered by CCTV, the cameras are not monitored in real time as government officials have stated that the prison does not have the budget to cover the necessary staffing levels. However, it is recording the packages illegal arrival and can assist in the prosecution of those that are apprehended. Members of the public who commit such offences are subject to criminal prosecution.

With the increased vigilance by officers, who are now finding drugs on the prison grounds with increasing regularity, the director commended his staff for the success in “the battle against the small minority who try and supply contraband” to the prison population.

“I would also urge those individuals to think long and hard about their actions. Drugs and alcohol work against our efforts to stabilise the population, work with them to be clean from drug and alcohol use, and thereby returning them to society to lead law abiding lives,” Lavis added.

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Category: Crime

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It appears the new boss is sorting out the failures of the old one. Good job Guv.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looking at the bright side, at the officers recovered the drugs

    • Anonymous says:

      Bad news is per BBC this morning, the UK government is considering banning smoking in all its prisons, both inside and out…zero tolerance. Wonder how that would go down here?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is and has always been what is considered "prison" for pirates by pirates.  Past time for a change.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well at this rate. We might as well make their women come live with them. Then they will be set….FOR LIFE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed…I am going to have to take a more careful look at all the litter on the beaches, it may be a gold mine after all!

  5. WHAT !!!!!!! says:

    Keep checking the grounds before you let the prisoners out and lets get all cameras working so we can catch the bastards who throwing it in so we can lock them down too…

  6. Anonymous says:

    What the F___?  What an international joke Cayman has become

    • Hoping for better days says:

      Always has been actually. And now anyone around the world with internet access can go onto CNS and read what's happening here.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a full bred caymanian woman, I can completely agree with this!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey, keep giving them this sh…. remember last time we took curry goat from them the trashed the prison,image what they will do when they cant get weed and booze.. i say keep giving it to them, hey why not sell it to them and make some income off them. there costing us $50+ per person per yr anyway…

  8. Anonymous says:


    I believe that the department must tell us how many persons were tested positive for ganja in that place.  We the public will then know ow many prisoners are smoking grass.What a bunch of baloney. I know as a person with my ear to the ground and know a lot of prison officers , that finding ganja in Northward is a regular thing. What I am reliable informed is that that is now smoked more than cigarettes.