Despite the best efforts of New York State Correctional Officers, drug use and drug smuggling in Empire State prisons continue to be a huge concern.

New York State Correctional Officer Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) representative Bryan Hluska made the bold statement that the New York State prison system has become a drug empire. Hluska is the Central Region Vice President for NYSCOPBA and he continually updates the media on the plight of drugs, and also weapons, popping up in prisons across the Empire State. Specifically, the Mohawk Valley region prisons are seeing a continual uptick in drug activity.

Hluska says just days after officials announced the seizure of drugs and weapons at Mid-State Correctional Facility, staff at Marcy Correctional facility reported the discovery of a large amount of drugs that were sent to an inmate via the United States Postal Service. Hluska says over the course of eight days between July 19th to July 26th, staff assigned to the mail room recovered several letters, cards, envelopes, soap boxes and a coloring book that had been saturated in drugs and mailed to inmates at the prison. The paper or cards are perfect for housing certain drugs, according to officials. Hluska says the drugs ranged from the deadly drugs, fentanyl and synthetic marijuana, commonly known as K2, to cocaine, Suboxone and Oxycodone.

Hluska tells us,

Despite the best efforts of staff, the attempts to get drugs into the hands of inmates continue to rise at record levels. Twenty drug seizures in just over a week brings this to a whole new level. It also begs the question of how many drugs are actually getting into the hands of inmates undetected despite the success of staff. One option that I think needs to be considered is to track down the individuals who are mailing in these drugs, hold them accountable for their actions and prosecute them. Until that occurs, this will be a never ending battle that we simply can’t win with the resources we have at hand right now.

Hluska says the drugs were mailed to inmates from various locations in the state as well as far away as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Unfortunately, drugs aren't the only problem plaguing New York's prisons. Weapons are also being discovered at an increased rate, putting the safety of staff members at risk. All inmates involved were appropriately punished, but the calls for assistance from The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision grow louder.

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