New policy to reduce prison drug use

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(Host) The Douglas administration has announced new procedures to stop illegal drug use in state prisons. Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold said Thursday that inmates in some prisons will be issued uniforms next month. And some inmates will be subjected to additional unannounced drug searches.

(Gold) “It’s not about dehumanizing people, it’s not about punishing people. It’s about making people accountable – hoping they’ll become responsible and primarily keeping them safe and keeping the institution safe and keeping the staff safe.”

(Host) Gold said the Corrections Department conducts drug tests and drug searches as inmates enter the prison system. He says the additional searches will be targeted at inmates who are suspected of drug use inside the prisons:

(Gold) “We’re not intending to be random and we’re not intending to go in and – if I can use an expression – ‘toss the whole facility’ and get everybody upset. We’re going to target them, and we’re going to target them at people who we have reason to believe are involved with drugs.”

(Host) Governor Jim Douglas said the concern for drug use in prisons is heightened in the wake of two recent inmate deaths – both from drug overdose.

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