New Democrat (Monrovia)

24 December 2012

Liberia: Police Find Drug in Prison

Police on Friday stormed the compound of the Monrovia Central Prison in South Beach confiscating dangerous drugs and weapons the inmates have been using but no arrest was made.

Heroine, cocaine, an instrument the inmates use to take in the drugs, razor blades, fork, mirror and four cell phones were also found in prison during the search, Deputy Police Director for Operation Abraham Kromah who led the search team told this paper Friday.

Col. Kromah said the inmates used the cell phones to connect their cohorts and influence them in the commission of crimes.

"One main reason we went there is we found out that these guys (the inmates) are using the phones to call other criminals who are not in jail and give them targets. This is something that is increasing the criminal rate in the country," Col Kromah said.

Even though no one was arrested, he said "the situation is being investigated." He said the exercise will cover other prison cells across the country.

The Monrovia Central Prison which was initially constructed for about 300 inmates is now overcrowded with over one thousands inmates.

In September this year, Amnesty International reported that the condition of some prisons in the country were so poor that inmates were crowded into dirty cells without adequate food, water or healthcare.

Amnesty added that out of four of Liberia's 15 prison facilities visited, "Inmates suffer permanent damage to their physical and mental health as a result of their incarceration and most haven't even been convicted of a crime - they're simply waiting for a trial date." said Amnesty International.

The Deputy Program Officer for Africa, Tawanda Hondora said, "There was no running water in any of the prison facilities we visited and the smell of sewage is overwhelming in most of the cells."

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