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Contraband Interdiction Efforts Yield Close to 8,000 Items Seized

Homer Bryson
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Gwendolyn Hogan
Contact Email:

Immediate Release

GDC Contraband Interdiction Efforts Yield Close to 8,000 Items Seized

Contraband confiscated in first quarter of 2016

FORSYTH, Ga. – Contraband, in particular cell phones, pose a significant threat to staff and public safety. Determined to eradicate the state’s prison system of contraband, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has implemented and bolstered interdiction methods within its facilities across the state of Georgia. In the first quarter of 2016, the agency has confiscated a total of 7,825 items of contraband.

“As I said before, we will not stand idly by while contraband makes it way into the walls of our prisons,” said Commissioner Bryson. “We are united in our stance to be ‘tough on crime from within’; and will continue our fight to eliminate contraband.”

Since February 2015, Commissioner Bryson has made it his top priority to rid our facilities of this ever-growing problem. The 7,825 items of contraband seized between January and March consisted of the following items: 

  • 2,007 cell phones

  • 879 cell phone chargers

  • 1,648 handmade weapons

  • 4,118.489 grams of marijuana 

  • 69,406.94 grams of tobacco 

  • 420.237 grams of meth 

  • 67.3 grams of cocaine 

  • 223 pills (ecstasy, loritab, xanax)

  • 86 bottles of alcohol

  • 109 bundles of financial information (debit & green dot cards and numbers)

  • 34 syringes

  • 13 SIM cards

  • 10 SD cards

Methods that assist the agency with stopping contraband from entering our prisons and finding contraband once inside involve both front line and technological efforts. These efforts include additional training on contraband detection, improved package screening of items entering facilities, enhanced staff screen during shift change, cell phone detection canines, secure evidence storage procedures, BOSS scanners, cell sense devices, through-body scanners, thermal imaging, perimeter netting and infrared cameras. 

  • 267 handmade weapons

  • 185 cell phones

  • 136 cell phone chargers

  • 3274.91 grams of tobacco

  • 356.3 grams of marijuana

  • 53.06 grams of meth

  • 536 unidentified pills

  • 20 bundles of financial transaction numbers & materials

  • 11 cell phone batteries

  • 6 syringes

  • 3 gallons plus 15 bottles of homemade alcohol

  • 3 SIM cards

  • 1 micro SD card

Seven prisons have undergone unannounced searches, some more than once, of their entire facility in the past three months. In line with the Commissioner’s commitment, the remainder of the state prisons, a total of 26, will be hit with surprise shakedowns over the course of this year. 

“This is only the beginning of our efforts to rid our prisons of contraband,” said Commissioner Bryson. “Our efforts will only increase and become more aggressive.”

For an inside look at the measures our officers are taking to find contraband, literally within the walls of our prisons, take a look at one officer’s account here.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5247 or visit

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