Three-day prison lockdown finds shoes, drugs, video games

Posted July 25, 2011, at 10:45 a.m.

WARREN, Maine — The Maine State Prison found tattooing materials, homemade syringes, extra shoes and more in a three-day search of the property. Prison staff shut down the facility for three days this month and looked through about 750 prisoners’ property to make sure the cells didn’t have any contraband.

Prisoners have a list of items they may own and each item has a limit. For instance, an inmate can have only one mattress. Most of what was found in the search, according to Department of Corrections associate commissioner Jody Breton, was excess of allowed materials, like an inmate who had two mattresses.

Prison staff went in each cell and each public part of the building to look for contraband. They found homemade knives, drugs, razor blades, a needle, homemade syringes and tattooing paraphernalia. They also found excesses of footwear, video games, CDs and CD players, radios, headphones and state-issued items, Breton wrote in a press release Monday morning.

“Searches of this magnitude will be conducted at each Department Facility a minimum of once annually. These searches are conducted for public, staff and prisoner safety, in addition to ensuring all prisoners maintain the appropriate levels of allowable property, which if not maintained could create a fire hazard, sanitation concerns and bartering issues,” Breton wrote.

Maine State Police assisted with the search, which lasted from July 12 to 14.

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