In today's world, the problems of drug access in prisons have increased dramatically. Visitors and staff are the main sources of the drugs because they have the easiest connections to the outside world. Even though prisons have camera, a large amount of guards, and strip searches of the inmates after visitations, the prisoners have become intelligent enough to discover the secrets of getting drugs inside of prisons.
Not only are drugs in prisons a threat to the other staff and inmates due to the diseases that get spread, they also become a "threat to the community because if an inmate does not stop their drug habits while incarcerated, they have greater of a chance at re-offending once released" ("Drugs in Prisons", 2005). Many people wonder how staff and visitors do not get caught with the drugs they bring inside of the prisons gates. Most are intelligent enough to know that when entering a prison one will be searched and patted down.
So to get drugs inside of prisons "people bring them In body cavities, or carried in by staff who do not receive a search, and put in the false bottoms of shoes and on the back of envelope stamps" ("Drugs in Prisons",2005). A person will go through just about any type of measure to get drugs into a prison facility for extra cash and or ones own personal high. So how much does a typical drug cost in prison? In some prisons a "drug can be valued at more than five times their street value" ("Drugs in Prisons", 2005).
Inside the world of a prison, some inmates struggle to make it each day, or try to hide their pain by taking drugs on the side. If a drug is available, inmates will find the money to pay for it no matter what the price may be. Although inmates feel like they are better than others when they have a source for drugs, this becomes the reason for many fights that break out behind bars. In prison, "drugs because a source of power, criminal influence and are used as currency.
Many incidents of violence can be attributed to drug trade activities" ("Drugs in Prison", 2005). Being high on a drug in prison may have more of an effect on the inmate's actions due to the hostility and hatred in prisons. Most inmates are dangerous and violent people and if they become under the influence of an illegal substance, along with the environment they are in, the choices and actions they may make could potentially be a great danger to the prison. "Drug use by inmates can also affect everyone's health.
Practices such as sharing needles and using glass tubes to inhale drugs can increase the risks of being exposed to and spreading of infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV/AIDS" ("Drugs in Prisons",2005). If is bad enough that these drugs are getting passed through maximum security and not being found, but even worse to know that inmates are being so careless about their actions that very deadly diseases are being spread. Why would someone want to risk their lives for one simple buzz?
Mostly it is because the inmate is already sentenced to a life in prison, therefore, they are careless about what happens to them or their body. The inmates once sentenced feels like there is nothing good left to live for, so they do not care about the choices they make. In 2000, "In a Russian prison about eight percent of their inmate's injected drugs and a majority of all inmates who inject drugs share the same needle" (Sempruch & Gallagher, 2004). Drug users sharing needles is one of the top reasons why diseases are being spread throughout the world today due to their careless actions when using.
The country is trying to prevent drugs from getting through to the prisons and for the spread of infectious diseases, but prisons making it ten times harder to take care of these issues. "At the start of the decade, twenty-four percent of new AIDS cases in the United States were attributed to Injected Disease Users. A 1991 survey of over seven hundred thousand inmates in state facilities found that seventy-nine percent acknowledged using drugs, and a majority of the AIDS cases were due to the inmates being injected drug users" (McShane & Williams, 1996).
If these inmates continue to use drugs, the facility is going to have a harder time trying to get the drug treatment to be effective. It is almost impossible to make a drug program work on an inmate if they are still using. A study showed that " thirty-eight percent of men and nineteen percent of women reported drug use while in prison which may have also reflected the differences in access to drugs in different facilities, the degrees of addictions, or the differences in risk taking behavior prior to or during incarceration" (Sempruch & Gallagher, 2004).
If so many people behind bars are using drugs, then what is the point in prisons? If the drugs seem to still be getting inside the gates, what can we do to prevent this from happening completely? "Many individuals have access to drugs while in prison, making it difficult for them to abstain from using during their period of incarceration or even to motivate an interest in participation of treatment" (Ammerman, 1999). As long as the prisoners have access to the drugs, they will never stop.
When these drugs are brought in it is hard to make for a positive turn around being in prison. Prison is supposed to be a place that allows an individual who got off track back on the right track for the better. The rehabilitation and therapy is to help them become a better person therefore if there is a chance of release they will be a better citizen. But if the inmates have access to the drugs even on the inside there is no hope for an effective treatment for them. Will the access of drugs inside prisons ever stop?
No, as long as visitors from the outside world are allowed to come in, and as long as the states keep hiring these people who they thought were trustworthy at the time the drug wars will continue to go on. "Many believe that locking people up in prison is not the solution to punishment because those incarcerated have even greater access to drugs then they do outside prison walls" (Sempruch & Gallagher, 2004). The drug wars in prisons are larger now than the drug wars on streets because more inmates and more dishonest staff, makes for more drug dealers and different types of drugs throughout the prison cells.
The different ratios of men and women that do use drugs while incarcerated and what type of drug all depends on their different sources and the types of drugs they do. Some will only use certain ones that may be hard to find, therefore when it does come around they will pay top dollar just to get that drug. Many different types of drugs go throughout a prison, but most drugs that inmates test positive for are "marijuana and cocaine" ("Drugs getting into Prisons despite Interdiction Efforts", 2001).
The cocaine would be fairly easy to hide considering the form of it and how people just snort or inject it, but what is questioned is how the marijuana is being smoked in a prison? If many inmates are testing positive for it, then they are completely aware of what guards to trust, and who they can smoke it around. What is strange is that the scent can be distinguished from anywhere, so exactly how many dishonest guards do the states have working in their prisons?