A year ago, one in every five New Hampshire prisoners failed a drug test as Suboxone was streaming into the state’s prisons. Last month, the number of failed tests had dropped to 12 percent. Officials credit stricter mail screening and visitation policies.
The New Hampshire Department of Corrections says the number of inmates testing positive for illicit drugs has dropped markedly over the past year, reports the Concord Monitor. More than 20 percent of the total offender population had tested positive for drugs in fall 2016. Last month, the figure dropped to just below 12 percent, the department said. Corrections Commissioner William Wrenn said testing was stepped up because of an apparent increase in Suboxone in the correctional system.
The department credits the decline in positive tests to its new contraband detection dogs, stricter mailroom and visitation policies, and its drug treatment focus unit in Berlin. The prisons are planning to install full-body scanners to further enhance security. “The introduction of drugs into prisons is a challenge faced by correctional institutions nationwide, and we are encouraged that our efforts to reduce the use of drugs in our prisons have shown positive results,” Wrenn said.