Alabama Prison Enlists State Law Enforcement to Help Find Contraband

March 1, 2019 AT 7:15 AM

By Melissa Brown

The Alabama Department of Corrections has enlisted more than 300 law enforcement officers from seven state and local organizations to track down contraband in a north Alabama prison.

Prison officials on Thursday announced the operation was underway at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, northeast of Birmingham. The widespread search is for a range of illegal items, "ranging from drugs and illegal cell phones to makeshift weapons," ADOC said in a release.

In December, the department announced it was beefing up its internal investigative division in a bid to cut down on inmate "criminal activity" as well as internal corruption.

The same month, ADOC's associate commissioner responsible for all prison operations chose to retire amid a misconduct allegation. He was suspended in September, though ADOC has provided no information about the nature of the misconduct allegations.

“Illegal contraband brought into our facilities poses a significant threat to the safety and wellbeing of our correctional staff and it compromises public safety as a whole,” said Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn. “This joint operation demonstrates our department's commitment to protecting those who serve on the frontlines in our correctional institutions, and it sends a powerful message to those who choose to break the law by introducing, accepting and/or using illegal contraband in our state prisons.”

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