New state prison dogs help detect drugs on visitors, contraband in cells

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - State leaders have made it top priority to stop the flow of drugs and other contraband into state prisons.

Now they have a new weapon to help them achieve that goal.

For years California state prisons had aggressive alert dogs that could detect narcotics and other contraband.

They are adding passive alert dogs that only detect narcotics on civilians entering the prison facilities.

State prison officials say these dogs are better for checking cars and people coming from the outside into the prison who may have contraband.

Aggressive alert dogs bark scratch and tear at the source of the contraband.

Passive alert dogs simply sit down when they detect contraband and stare at the area that they are alerting on.

This allows prison officials to use the dogs to search the cars of visitors and other people coming to the prison who may be trying to sneak in contraband.

One of the biggest problems in state prisons our cell phones which can be used for inmates to conduct criminal activity on the outside. At Kern Valley State prison they found 460 cell phones in 2011, but last year they found only 298. State prison officials say that shows the effectiveness of these dogs.

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