Amount of drugs found in Danish prisons drops

Stashes down, but so are the numbers of prisoners

Although a record amount of cannabis and other contraband was discovered in prisons by the Danish authorities in 2015, numbers have fallen this year. But then again, there are also fewer prisoners, according to the authorities.

Searches to ferret out mobile phones, cannabis, weapons and other contraband in Danish prisons have been a priority this year, according to Søren Pind, the justice minister.

The prison service claims that the numbers of those incarcerated has been falling. From 2013 to 2014, the number of prisoners throughout the system fell  from 4,008 to 3,784. And in 2015, that figure dropped to 3,421.

“We have fewer inmates, and we are finding fewer illegal items at our institutions,” probation security head Lars Rau Brysting told DR Nyheder.

Not enough time
Prison guards tasked with actually monitoring the inmates disagree that the decreasing numbers of inmates are causing the fall in prison contraband. They say they just don’t have the time to look for it.

“The far more likely explanation is that there is too much pressure on our guards,”  said the chairman of the prison association, Kim Østerbye. “We haven’t been as focused on searches as we used to be.”

READ MORE: New measures to combat forbidden phones in Danish prisons

According to the official figures, additional resources for searches have been added this year, and the number of random searches involving guards and dogs has doubled.