Maryborough Correctional Centre - contraband display case.
Maryborough Correctional Centre - contraband display case. Alistair Brightman

Prison visitors caught with contraband 2508 times

PRISON visitors were caught 2508 times trying to smuggle drugs, alcohol, weapons or other contraband into Queensland prisons in 2015-16.

New figures tabled in Queensland Parliament show drugs were the most commonly detected contraband visitors try and smuggle into jails.

In a response to a question on notice, Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said the Government was committed to keeping drugs out of jails.

"The Palaszczuk Government's zero-tolerance to drugs and contraband in correctional centres involves random and targeted cell searches,” he said.

"Visitors are subject to criminal history checks and searches to guard against illicit drugs or contraband items being taken into correctional facilities.”

More people were caught attempting to smuggle contraband into the Arthur Gorrie and Woodford prisons.

At Arthur Gorrie Prison, drugs were detected 230 times, weapons 39 times, alcohol 68 and clothing or money 51 times.

At Woodford Prison, drugs were detected 234 times, weapons 20 times, alcohol 68 and clothing or money 56 times.

At the Maryborough Jail, contraband was detected 275 times, including drugs 89 times.

Drugs were only detected being smuggled into the Capricornia Prison Farm four times compared to 22 times at the Capricornia Prison itself.

But Mr Ryan said the figures "significantly understates” the number of searches as it only included electronically logged searches. Searches are logged in localised registers and not often logged into a centralised electronic database.

Corrective Services said at least 15% of all prison cells were searched every week. These were either random searches or based on intelligence.

Visitors entering prisons are subject to personal, electronic and drug detection dog searches. Vehicles are also searched.

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