Federal prisons in Canada have a serious drug problem and the Drumheller Institution is no different. That word comes from the Regional President of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO).

"We've had over 20 overdoses at that site in cells of these individuals ingesting what we suspect to be mixed fentanyl," James Bloomfield told Drum FM. "Our staff have done an amazing job because we have not lost anybody at that site due to an overdose, which truly is amazing in how fast they're finding these situations and their reaction to it."

Bloomfield reported earlier this month that nearly 40 grams of the elephant tranquillizer carfentanyl was seized in Drumheller in September, an amount he said was more than enough to kill everyone at the prison.

"We need body scanners; we need to ensure that we're doing what the provinces are starting to do and getting the packages before they get into our institutions," he stated. "We need proper drone protection: there is technology right now to bring a drone directly up to the window of a cell, then fly away after dropping it into somebody's hand."

Bloomfield said UCCO has been pressing the federal solicitor general for over two years for body scanners to stop illegal drugs and other contraband from entering penetentiaries and, while that has now been approved, it could be a year or more before we see one here.

"The credit really is due to the floor officers; they do their job and they do it extremely well," he concluded. "The amount of deaths if we didn't have people doing hourly rounds and checking on everybody every single hour of the day, night and day, obviously we would have a heck of a lot more deaths inside."

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