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SPECIAL REPORT: Drugs Behind Bars

SPECIAL REPORT: Drugs Behind Bars (MGN Online/KRCG 13)

When criminals are behind bars, most assume they can no longer break the law.

However, while law enforcement continues to fight the war against drugs on the streets, they have separate battles within cell walls.

It has happened in several states, and even in Missouri.

A corrections officer at the Moberly Correctional Center was charged with the possession of illegal drugs with the intent to distribute after she was arrested on the grounds of the prison with drugs in her vehicle. Investigators stated they found methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin in her car.

But the Moberly Correctional Center has not been the only Missouri facility to have drugs brought in by employees.

Last November, a Washington County corrections officer was arrested after authorities say he brought narcotics into the jail and gave them to an inmate.

"Jails are like schools, and if you believe drugs are never going to make it in, you're naive." said Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism.

He said in the 17 years he's worked for the county, they have had no cases of jail employees bringing drugs in. Chism added though that doesn't mean offenders haven't found other methods.

"When you have a jail full of substance abusers who have been arrested for either substance abuse or some other crime related to substance abuse, their drug addiction does not go away when they're in my jail," he said.

Technology has made it tougher for offenders to be successful. The Callaway County Jail this year will have a new security system.

"We'll put in a complete new security system that's the most up-to-date system available to us and will increase the amount of cameras we have," the sheriff said. "It will not only increase the number of cameras we have, but the vantage points of these cameras and the efficiency of them."

Anne Precythe, the Director of Missouri Department of Corrections, explained new security measures to lawmakers during a meeting at the state Capitol.

"We're going to be focusing on the search policies for everyone, including myself and everybody below me that comes into and out of the facility," Precythe said. "We're going to be reviewing periodic camera footage to ensure that rounds are being made."

But as long as there is demand, law enforcement will have a continuous battle both on the streets, and behind bars.


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