​Tight restrictions on inmate underwear

Published date: Saturday, 28 April 2018

Inmates can no longer receive underwear and socks in the mail as part of a new crackdown on drugs being smuggled into NSW prisons.

The latest anti-contraband measure means Corrective Services NSW will continue to issue inmates with basic underwear and socks, but there is a ban on inmates receiving mail containing brand-name socks and underwear from family and friends.

From Monday, inmates can only acquire brand-name items through the prison ‘buy-ups’ scheme — a grocery list of food and items inmates can purchase using their wages or money deposited in their account.

Correctional Officers intercepted incoming mail packages with drugs sewn into the lining of underwear and socks on nine occasions in the 18 months to February 2018.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the ban complements existing intelligence-based operations, daily searches of staff, inmates and inmate cells, use of drug, mobile phone and detection drugs, and full body scanners.

“Contraband poses a significant threat to the safety and security of correctional centres and it is a constant battle staying one step ahead of inmates gaining access to illegal substances and other contraband,” Mr Elliott said.

CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said inmates found with contraband could be charged by Police or face correctional centre charges, including confinement to cell and withdrawal of privileges.

An affordable brand of underwear and socks and a variety of trunks will be added to the ‘buy ups’ list. Inmates can spend up to $100 per week on food items and $100 per month on other grocery items, such as clothing and toiletries.

Any profits from the buy-up scheme go back into prison operations.