Prison service recruits face mandatory drug testing

-scanners among extra security measures expected to curb smuggling

Gladwin Samuels

With the smuggling of contraband into the prison system at an “alarming” level, Director of Prisons (ag) Gladwin Samuels yesterday announced that mandatory drug testing of new recruits has recently been introduced, while additional security measures are expected to be put in place before the end of the year.

Samuels told reporters yesterday that the increase in the smuggling appears to be a result of collusion between inmates and prison service officials. He revealed that a quarter of prospective recruits were disqualified after they failed drug tests.

The prison service currently has a staff of 479 and efforts are being made to specifically recruit men to fill the existing vacancies.  However, Samuels explained that the rigidity of vetting has resulted in a difficulty in recruiting the required number of persons. “There is a vetting process. There has always been a vetting process but what we have done is work to increase the level of vetting that we are doing while the level of trafficking of contraband is at an alarming stage. This is an issue that has always been facing us, more so because of the close proximity of the built up population to our prisons,” he said. “The first test, the first time we advertised, some 93 persons took the test, 40 of whom were successful at the theoretical aspect of it,” he noted…..