More drugs being found in NZ prisons, but fewer inmates using them

Ryan Boswell
Source: 1News

More cannabis and methamphetamine is being found inside our prisons.

A file image of two "point bags" - typically used to store small quantities of powdered drugs like methamphetamine.

Figures released to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act show Corrections made 1667 drug and drug paraphernalia seizures in 2019/20, compared to 1316 in 2016/17.

Cannabis remains the most popular drug of choice, followed by amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Corrections Southern Region Commissioner Ben Clark said there are individuals thinking through different ways and means to get contraband across the gate.

"I think there might be more attempt to get items into prison but equally we’re being more successful in finding them," Clark said.

"We're making sure we prosecute those individuals when we have the evidence to do so."

Corrections did not know how many people had been charged or referred to New Zealand police.

Drug and alcohol counsellor Roger Brooking said Corrections has got on top of its drug problem "to a large degree".

Brooking points to the random drugs tests carried out on inmates, which show 4.4 per cent are positive compared to 6.8 per cent 10 years ago.

One inmate who was once addicted to drugs told 1 NEWS he hasn’t come across drugs inside.

"I don’t see any. I'm not exposed to any," the man said.