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Irish Prison Service. (2023) Contraband seizures 2022. Longford: Irish Prison Service.

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Preventing the access of contraband (including illegal drugs) into prisons will always remain a high priority for the Irish Prison Service. The suspension of visits for significant periods since March 2020, as a result of COVID 19, has forced a shift in the methods used for trafficking contraband into prisons. We have seen an increase in the number of “throw overs” i.e. contacts on the outside attempting to throw mobile phones and drugs into exercise yards. Due to the regimes currently in operation in our prisons, prison staff have been able to identify and intercept many of these “throw overs ensuring they do not reach the prison population. 

In addition, staff have increased the use of random and intelligence led cell searches on a daily basis. Our canine Unit carry out searches around the prisons, including a greater focus on searching deliveries. Recent examples of this was in Mountjoy Prison where two of the biggest seizures of contraband to date was recorded. An increase in drug found in the post, parcels and prisoner clothing has also increased as a result of visits being suspended. Advancements in our drug detection technology has proved particularly effective in identifying drugs that are sprayed onto letters, newspapers and other prisoner property.

Report tables include number of drug seizures for each prison in Ireland for 2022 and previous years.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
January 2023
4 p.
Irish Prison Service
Corporate Creators
Irish Prison Service
Place of Publication
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