Keeping Drugs Out: A visitor's guide

Keeping Drugs Out

Illicit Drugs in Penitentiaries

Why is a drug-free penitentiary necessary?

A safe, drug-free penitentiary is necessary for the successful reintegration of inmates into the community. The presence of drugs creates violence within penitentiaries and makes them unsafe for offenders, staff and visitors.

What will happen when I visit a penitentiary?

  1. You will sign in and show identification.
  2. Your name and the name of the inmate you are visiting will be recorded.
  3. Items you have brought for your visit will be put through an x-ray machine. Prohibited items will be visually inspected and then stored in a locker. Penitentiaries can provide you with information on which items are prohibited such as cell phones and tobacco.
  4. You will go through an initial search (walk through a metal detector and/or have items scanned with an ion scanner or x-ray machine). You may also be searched by a drug detector dog. If there is suspicion that you possess contraband, you may face a more intrusive search.
  5. New visitors will watch a short video on keeping drugs out of penitentiaries.

What will happen if I am caught with drugs?

If you bring drugs into a penitentiary, you may be charged with a criminal offence and may face a jail sentence. It could also mean that you delay the release of the inmate you’re visiting or impact their visiting privileges.

What can I do if I am being pressured to smuggle drugs?

Talk to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) staff. Contact the penitentiary or a parole office and ask for help. You have information about contraband in an institution and wish to remain anonymous? Call CSC’s Tip Line at 1-866-780-3784.

When can I visit?

Each penitentiary has scheduled visiting periods. Please contact the facility directly for more details.

You can help us keep drugs out. See it… Hear it… Report it! Security is everyone’s business!

Improving public safety is the overall goal of the CSC to transform federal corrections. Eliminating drugs in penitentiaries is one of the key elements in achieving this goal.

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