SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — An incident over on the eastern side of Iowa serves as a reminder for Siouxland jail employees.
Earlier in March, multiple inmates and workers became sick at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. The incident prompted officials to investigate the facility for a contraband substance.
Here in Sioux City, local authorities told KCAU 9 the Woodbury County Jail has faced its own problems with contraband in the past. Lieutenant Randy Uhl has worked at the Woodbury County Jail for 35 years and said employees have found a variety of items from inmates over the years.
“We have seen everything, anything. From weapons to illegal drugs, homemade substances that the inmates are not allowed to have,” Uhl said.
Uhl said preparation is key to catching any contraband items.
“Currently, we have a body scanner that we use so everybody that gets booked in and brought into the jail is required to go through a body scanner which completely searches the inside and the outside of your body,” Uhl said. “We constantly are training on contraband and searches.”
Uhl said contraband substances do not get inside the jail very often, but when they do, it threatens the safety of the 200 inmates housed in the jail as well as the staff.
“Especially with the outbreak of fentanyl, it’s very concerning that just touching those substances can prove to be not good for officers and inmates and in some instances can be fatal,” Uhl said.
Uhl said a contraband substance can be anything inmates were not given permission to have while inside the Woodbury County Jail, even items such as pens or food.