Prison Director: Drugs, Makeshift Tattoo Machines & More Discovered During Searches

LINCOLN – Director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) Scott R. Frakes, released photos of some of the contraband confiscated during recent searches conducted at the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

At the beginning of September, the entire penitentiary facility was placed on lockdown, all inmate movement in and out of cell confinement was stopped, and outside visitation to the penitentiary was suspended until further notice.

“An abundance of nuisance contraband was discovered and disposed of right away,” said Director Frakes. “The photos are of the items deemed to have more serious impact on the safety, security and good order of the penitentiary.”

Objects included makeshift tattoo machines, a variety of homemade weapons, syringes and lighters. Numerous drugs were also found, including K2, which was discovered inside cigarettes, wrapped in small bundles and loose in baggies.

“One of the most interesting items was a smartphone concealed inside of one of the tablet computers that is authorized for purchase by inmates. The device had been altered in such a way that the phone fit snuggly inside. It serves as a good example of the lengths people will go to in order to hide unauthorized items,” noted Director Frakes.

Director Frakes went on to say that the searches yielded the type of items that he expected.  “Obviously, you never know what might turn up. But, the fact that we were able to find so many different things shows me that this effort was well worth it.”

Operations at the penitentiary returned to normal Monday morning (Sept. 9). The facility had been on modified operations through the weekend, after the lockdown was lifted last Friday.

“We need to be attentive to all the different ways that contraband finds its way into a facility,” said Frakes. “In the last week, we have had a staff member, as well as a visitor, arrested on charges related to bringing items into a facility. The consequences are serious for people willing to assume that risk.”