Migratory patterns: Tracking how contraband travels in a facility

How we can gain a considerable upper hand by considering how contraband moves


As most tenured corrections professionals know, almost anything that can be traded or leveraged in a facility can, and should, be considered contraband. As staff, we’re accustomed to hunting for stationary contraband. Yet we can gain a considerable upper hand in the fight when we consider how contraband travels.

It is useful to consider the obvious: Inmates have less control over their environment than they had in society. Thus, for those who trade in illicit goods, contraband enables them to arrange for a variety of services, including assaults on others.

Contraband is power
The power base that an enterprising offender can build with contraband is something to consider. Esteem is a hard commodity to come by in prison and contraband can help an inmate not only to achieve esteem, but to leverage it in malicious ways.

Because it is a fundamental source of prisoner strength, unauthorized items are very valuable in the hands of unauthorized traders. Yet, contraband would be of less worth if it were not mobile.

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