Woman smuggles klonopin into prison; six inmates overdose

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Six female inmates overdose on drugs yesterday while at Sussex Community Corrections Center. Multiple ambulances responded to the scene yesterday around 2:45 PM. Staff administered Narcan to all six inmates; one person needed 12 milligrams to wake up. The women were taken to the hospital before being transferred to Baylor Women’s Correctional prison upstate.

Sources familiar with the investigation say one female inmate smuggled the drugs into the prison by hiding it in her vaginal cavity, then shared her haul with friends.  Another source in the DOC telling WGMD the substance was klonopin, which is an anti-anxiety medication.

Delaware State Police are currently conducting tests to determine what the substance is. Department of Corrections says they are still trying to determine how the contraband was smuggled into the prison, and say they’re investigating whether the drugs were taken before or after inmates arrived back from community service.

Shore News Beacon reporting the initial EMS response was to the Sussex Violation of Probation, one of three parts within the Sussex Community Corrections Center. According to the DOC website, SVOP houses offenders who violated their terms of probation, but have not committed crimes. Rather the “rule breakers” have committed technical violations, such as failing to report to their probation officer, disregarding curfew, or failing a drug test.

DOC says offenders in the SVOP live in a military-style highly regimented program that focuses on discipline and behavior modification. Inmates rise at 5 AM for institutional assignments or community service work. Offenders who participate in community service work on projects that benefit towns, churches, schools, and other non-profit organizations.

State Rep. Steve Smyk telling WGMD inmates are strip searched upon returning to the facility from work release or community service. He says the searches are documented via video and paperwork. Inmates are also scanned for potential contraband smuggled deep inside body cavities, but it can be difficult to detect non-metallic items.