The Department of Corrections (DOC) has completed a full-scale search for contraband at the Allegheny County Jail.
At the request of Allegheny County, the DOC deployed Corrections Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from nine state prisons to the jail on Tuesday to begin conducting the top-to-bottom search.
Twenty K-9 teams specializing in drug detection assisted in the search.
Over the course of two days the search teams found a number of contraband items, including drugs in various forms (liquid, pills and on paper), homemade weapons and lighters.
“We were pleased to assist Allegheny County with contraband detection in its facility and we commend the professionalism of the Allegheny County Jail administration and staff,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel. “Governor Wolf has made battling the opioid crisis a top priority and the DOC is working every day to limit the introduction of drugs into corrections facilities and root out contraband.”
The DOC also has loaned Allegheny County Jail an electronic drug detection device for its use.
“These additional resources allowed us to further ensure the safety of our staff and inmates, and we are grateful to Governor Wolf, Secretary Wetzel and the Department of Corrections for the work that they did here,” said Allegheny County Jail Warden Orlando Harper. “Their professionalism and thoroughness ensured a successful effort and we look forward to working with the DOC again for future searches.”
Contraband searches and equipment loans are just two of the ways the Department of Corrections assists county jails in addressing the opioid epidemic. The DOC also provided grant funding for medication assisted treatment (MAT) to help individuals with substance use disorder.