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Correctional officials make tobacco seizure at Springhill prison

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SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Inmates at the Springhill Institution are going to have to without their smokes following the tobacco seizure there last Friday.

Prison spokesperson Shannon Oickle said 24 bales of tobacco, with an institutional value of $24,000, were intercepted on their way into the federal prison on the outskirts of Springhill.
“We search on a regular basis and are constantly doing surveillance and collecting intelligence and thanks to the good work of staff, the drug dogs and other measures at our disposal we are able to stop contraband like this from entering the institution,” said Oickle, assistant warden, management services. “This was a big hit, that’s for sure.”
Oickle said a bale of tobacco is slightly larger than the pouches of tobacco people can purchase in stores.
She could not comment specifically on how the tobacco was intercepted other than to say it was during an intelligence search.
She said it’s important for prison staff to be vigilant because inmates and visitors often try to smuggle items into the prison.
“We have inmates who leave the institution regularly whether for work release, or court or other reasons. There’s a lot of pressure put on those inmates who go outside the fence or have visitors coming in,” she said. “It’s a challenge for us to keep that contraband out.”
Oickle said contraband still gets into the prison despite their best efforts to keep it out. She said inmates take as much time figuring out ways to get it into the institution as prison officials spend trying to keep it out.
Police were notified and institution officials are investigating.
Prisons in Canada have been completely smoke-free since 2008 and inmates have the ability to participate in smoking cessation sessions.
The Correctional Service of Canada has a telephone tipline for all of its prisons so it may receive additional information relating to security. These activities may be related to drug use or trafficking that could threaten the security of inmates, staff and visitors.
darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca
Twitter: @ADNdarrell  

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