According to the jail’s administrator, contraband at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center led to the suspected overdoses of two inmates this month.
BSRDC administrator Byron Hansford, who has been on the job just over a month, said policy issues are being shored up to insure drugs do not make it into the jail.
“We had a couple we took to the hospital,” Hansford said.
Hansford said both overdoses stemmed from one incident.
The jail recently invested $185,000 in an X-ray body scanner that uses proprietary software to identify contraband, but Hansford said he will continue to amend policies about its use that will dictate that employees do not rely solely on the scanner.
“We need to be using it in conjunction with traditional strip searches,” Hansford said. “The old way of doing things was successful in a lot of ways, and we need to get back to some of that.”
The two halves of the struggle, Hansford said, are ensuring policies are in place to curtail all vectors for contraband to enter the jail, and ensuring his staff can be trusted to enforce those policies. Hansford said he has already seen violations of a policy about personal property making its way to secure areas of the jail.
The identities of the two inmates transported to the hospital for suspected overdoses have not been released.