What does all the contraband seized from local penitentiaries look like?
By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
What does all the contraband seized from local penitentiaries look like? The Record has published two recent articles (Aug. 17, Sept. 15) on contraband seizures from the Drummondville and Cowansville medium-security penitentiaries. These articles were the result of press releases that come in through The Record’s newsfeed, from Correctional Services Canada (CSC), that detail the types of contraband seized and their “institutional value”.
The second article detailed 10 general questions that The Record asked CSC Senior Communications Advisor Kevin Antonucci over email about the seizures. The CSC gave a statement in response that, at best, tangentially answered parts of some of the questions. The Record then asked for an interview with a decision-maker to clear things up but was told such an interview could not be given “at this time”. It is, nevertheless, of interest to piece together an, admittedly speculative, picture of what all these seizure press releases amount to.
Let’s do the math
The Record went back and calculated the “institutional value” for all the reported items seized from the Drummondville and Cowansville facilities since the beginning of 2023. The Drummondville total is $1,435,225; the Cowansville total is $1,010,059.
According to the CSC website, the capacity for inmates at Drummondville is 369. The capacity for Cowansville is 599. Supposing Drummondville is at maximum capacity, approximately $3,890 per inmate has been intercepted so far this year. That number for Cowansville is approximately $1,685 per inmate.