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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Where Prisoners Stash Their Drugs

Living in a confined, guarded environment calls for really ingenious stash spots, prisoners tell The Fix.

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One of many prison stash spots Photo via

By Seth Ferranti

08/16/12

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Prisoners are constantly coming up with new and ingenious hiding places—or "stash spots"—to conceal contraband items, such as drugs, homemade hooch and shanks. "There's so many places I can stash stuff in prison," one convict tells The Fix. "It's unbelievable." Hiding stuff effectively is part of a never-ending battle with prison guards and administrators, who are always seeking to find and confiscate contraband. In most prisons, guards spend a lot of their working hours shaking down cells, along with the common areas and work places. Sometimes they luck upon some drugs, but mostly they don't—prisoners' hiding places are often just too good.

"I can use a homemade screwdriver to unfasten the safety screws on the electronic outlet cover and stash stuff back there, it only takes a minute," the prisoner says. "Another good spot is taping stuff under the bunks, tables, phone stations, or even on the bottom of a fire extinguisher." Purchased items can also be put to this use: "They sell jugs on the commissary, half-gallon coolers. I can buy one, rip the inside sleeve out, take out the insulation that coats the shell on the inside and stash stuff there, around the inner sleeve, which I can reinsert." And so can clothing: "Your shoes and boots are always good to hide stuff in. You can put stuff under the insoles. They never check shoes for some reason—especially if you got an old, stinky pair." He continues, "They got these big dust mops with long tube handles; you can take the plastic fastener off the top and tape stuff down in the tube handle. If you work in recreation, the kitchen or facilities you have even more options: in the ceilings or vents—that's where dudes let their hooch cook up; in the ceramic molds or in instruments, especially drum sets; in the food cartons in the warehouse or the walk-in freezer. Like I said, it's unreal."

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