skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 205685     Find in a Library
  Title: Drug Detection in Prison Mailrooms
  Document URL: PDF 
  Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Date Published: 11/2004
  Page Count: 3
  Annotation: This report presents the results of a federally supported study examining commercial drug detection systems and their successful implementation in prison mailrooms.
  Abstract: Despite the highly supervised environment, prisons face a pervasive problem of the use of illicit drugs by inmates. The common entry point for illicit drugs in prison is the mailroom where several thousand pieces of mail pass through daily. To improve mailroom drug screening, the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice sponsored a study to examine whether commercially available drug detection systems could be successful in prison mailrooms. The study included an examination of mailroom operations and processes at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, KS, a survey of available detection technologies, and a laboratory-based evaluation of several technologies (i.e. desktop ion mobility spectrometers (IMS), handheld IMS, chemical spray, and X-ray machines) at Thunder Mountain Evaluation Center in Arizona in the detection of six drugs of interest (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and LSD). Results of the study indicated that x-ray could find relatively small amounts of drugs in mail, trace detection systems had high false alarm rates, and items mailed through the postal system did not pick up substantial amounts of drug contamination. Overall, results concluded that IMS was the technology most likely to enhance mailroom drug screening effectiveness. Study limitations are presented and discussed.
  Main Term(s): Drug abuse in correctional facilities
  Index Term(s): Drug detection ; Science and Technology ; Controlled Substances ; Drug smuggling ; Drug-abusing inmates ; Prison contraband
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: NIJ In Short--Toward Criminal Justice Solutions
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.