ON GUARD: Paul Garside with his drug detection specialist Blurr at the Grafton Correctional Centre.
ON GUARD: Paul Garside with his drug detection specialist Blurr at the Grafton Correctional Centre.

Jailhouse Pot

By SALLY GORDON

THE detection of contraband at the Grafton jail is at an all-time high with an increasing number of visitors to the centre being caught with drugs. Over the past month 15 visitors to the Grafton Correctional Centre have been screened for drugs and denied visitation rights. Five people have been charged with drug trafficking and possession offences. Two have been charged with offensive behaviour. Records from the NSW Department of Corrective Services show that in the four-week period, Clarence police confiscated a total of 24.7 grams of white powder and 15.9 grams of cannabis at the jail. Prison officials also intercepted 50 syringes, five drug smoking implements, two explosive devices and seven other weapons, including knives and batons. One visitor was even caught with 100 rounds of ammunition for various firearms. The alarming statistics follow a bomb scare earlier this month at the Hoof Street correctional centre. A Coffs Harbour man was charged with possessing an explosive device, dangerous articles and ammunition. NSW Department of Corrective Services commander of security and investigations Brian Kelly said, however, that the explosives, ammunition and weapons located on the Grafton jail site were not intended to be taken inside the prison. "We do not believe the explosives, weapons and ammunition were destined to be introduced into the jail but were found as a result of security procedures surrounding the jail," Mr Kelly said. In 2003 the Carr Government introduced new legislation that hardened up security regulations for visitors.



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