Despite the security efforts at prisons, inmates seem to have no trouble obtaining prohibited items. Recent sweeps by the Policía Penitenciaria turned up drugs, money, cell phones and homemade weaponry, said the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz, which oversees the prisons.
Prison police are using dogs to find illegal items. At one prison, officers encountered an inmate with more than a million colons in his possession. That’s about $1,900. The 21 year old is doing four years for robbery. At another lockup, prison police said they found 20 liters of fermenting liquid.
The illegal items were not limited to prisons contained male inmates. Officers said they found illegal cell telephones at Buen Pastor, the women’s prison.
Prison rules allow inmates to have extensive contact with visitors, so many items and drugs are easily smuggled into the facilities. Investigators have linked a number of scams and other crimes to cell telephones that had been smuggled into inmates. Efforts to block the frequencies by prison officials have not been successful.