BATON ROUGE, La. (DOC) – The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections conducted a large-scale early morning shakedown at Louisiana State Penitentiary Saturday. The objective of the crackdown was to find illicit drugs, cellphones, weapons and other contraband smuggled into the prison. Approximately 250 officers from Louisiana’s state prisons and Probation and Parole Districts across the state assisted Angola staff during the large-scale operation. The officers fanned out across the prison at 4:00 a.m. in search of contraband.
Today’s shakedown resulted in the confiscation of various quantities of contraband including 3/4 gallon of beer, seven cellphones, and a homemade tattoo gun.
The small quantity is a testament to the Department’s aggressive efforts to combat contraband. In addition to the Department’s increased number of shakedowns, body scanners placed at the prison’s entry are also credited with the reduction of illegal items smuggled into Angola.
“I applaud our employees at Louisiana State Penitentiary for what they are doing to fight the smuggling,” said Jimmy Le Blanc, secretary, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. “We are making progress in our fight to rid our state prisons of contraband, but we must stay the course, and continue our aggressive efforts. We are not alone in the fight against contraband, state departments of corrections across the country face the same daily battle we face here in Louisiana. Contraband puts our staff and offenders at risk, so it is imperative we continue our efforts to prevent the infiltration of these illegal items into our correctional institutions.”
In addition to the correctional officers and Probation and Parole officers, 16 Department of Corrections dog teams from Louisiana’s state prisons assisted in the search for contraband.
During today’s operation, officers also drug tested 200 inmates. All tests were negative.
The participating officers were from Allen Correctional Center, Dixon Correctional Institute, Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Rayburn Correctional Center, and Raymond Laborde Correctional Center, along with Probation and Parole Officers from the following districts: Alexandria, Amite, Baton Rouge, Covington, Donaldsonville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Natchitoches, New Iberia, Thibodaux, Vermillion, West Baton Rouge, and Headquarters.
The Department will prosecute and discipline offenders and those responsible for these illegal items, and will continue its aggressive efforts against contraband with more shakedowns in the future.