The preventing the access of contraband into prisons remains a high priority for the IPS. Concerted efforts are made on a continuous basis to prevent the flow of drugs into our prisons, by for example, the installation of nets over exercise yards, vigilant observation of prisoners by staff, enhanced CCTV monitoring, the stricter control of visits and the use of targeted and random cell searches on a daily basis, as well as this the introduction of passive and active drug detection dogs and the installation of airport style security including scanners and x-ray machines has helped efforts to tackle the problem. Random searches of cells and their occupants have uncovered significant quantities of contraband in recent years.
Nevertheless, the Irish Prison Service recognises that constant improvements are required in this area. Additional security measures aimed a further enhancing the security of our prisons include the introduction of a free confidential telephone line which is now operational. Prisoner, visitors, staff or members of the public with information on the trafficking of prohibited items into our prisons can pass on that information in the strictest confidence. The telephone line was introduced to provide members of the general public and prisoners with a means to call the Prison Service with information about any matter relating to smuggling or attempts at smuggling of prohibited articles such as drugs, weapon and mobile phones. The phone line will be manned from 8am to 8pm and will be operated similar to the “Crimebusters” hotline which is run by An Garda Síochána. Calls outside this time period will be answered by answer machine and persons calling may choose to leave a message. The phone line is 1800 855 717.