Report finds serious security breaches at prisons’ entry

Prison guards are not subject to mandatory checks to ensure that prohibited objects, such as mobile phones or drugs, are transported to prisons, constituting a “serious security breach”, according to a report from the prisons’ inspection services.

The report of the Audit and Inspection Service of the Directorate General for Reintegration and Prison Services (DGRSP), which evaluates the control procedures at the entrance of the prisons, was the subject of a hearing held on 26th October by the Justice Minister, Francisca Van Dunem, at the request of the PSD party.

The document, dated May and signed by the coordinating inspector, states that the control of visitors in prisons is carried out through “detection devices, by palpation and by review of clothing, footwear, personal luggage or similar objects”, competing with the guards prisons “to ensure the control of the entry and exit of persons” from prisons.

“The law does not exclude any citizen from such control,” he says, specifying that the visitors, lawyers and prison guards who work within prisons are subject to these mandatory measures.

According to the inspection report, these procedures are applied to visitors, but in relation to the prison corps there is an “intolerable relaxation of such procedures, not thorough verification of the belongings that each worker carries with him into the prison establishment, as well as not making their belongings pass through x-rays”.

The DGRSP Audit and Inspection Service reports on numerous police investigations and cases involving the introduction of mobile phones and drugs into prisons by prison guards.

The document concluded that the scheme for the introduction into prisons of these objects prohibited by DGRSP workers “does not pre-suppose a structured criminal organization nor an elaborate plan”, resulting in a “serious failure to comply with mandatory procedures”, a situation that occurs throughout the country.


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