It wasn’t exactly the crime of the century, but officials at Mountain Institution in Agassiz made a large seizure of contraband last week.
Discovered among incoming packages were nicotine patches with an institutional value of $18,690, according to a press release issued by the medium security federal institution.
A week before the seizure, Mountain was the subject of a lockdown for a number of days starting Aug. 24 for what was deemed an “exceptional search.”
So what’s wrong with nicotine patches?
Assistant warden Sheila Collett explained that tobacco was banned in all public spaces and workplaces in B.C. in March 2008, and that includes federal government facilities such as prisons.
“While smoking cessation products were permitted for purchase within most institutions following the smoking ban, CSC has significantly reduced the availability of these products due to issues arising from their presence in the institution,” Collett said via email.
“In addition, inmates are not permitted to have items sent through the mail and all items sent via mail will be seized.”
It was Sept. 6 and 7 that the packages were seized “as a result of the vigilance of staff members,” the institution reports.
The statement from Mountain said that Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) uses a number of tools to prevent drugs from entering its institutions. These include ion scanners and drug-detector dogs to search buildings, personal property, inmates and visitors.
CSC has set up a telephone tip line for all federal institutions to receive additional information about activities relating to security at CSC institutions.
The toll-free number is 1-866-780-3784 and callers remain anonymous.
“CSC is strengthening measures to prevent contraband from entering its institutions in order to help ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone. CSC also works in partnership with the police to take action against those who attempt to introduce contraband into correctional institutions.”