Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Former Prison Guards Sentenced for Smuggling Drugs

I posted about this a couple months back.

Daily Home

By David Atchison

ASHVILLE — Two former state correctional officers were sentenced to 5-year split sentences Monday for smuggling drugs into a prison.
St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Charles Robinson sentenced Tommie Borden, 34, of Gadsden and Mark Clark, 27, of Anniston to each serve two years in prison, followed by three years of probation.

In June, a St. Clair County jury found both former correctional officers guilty of second-degree promoting prison contraband. The correctional officers smuggled a small amount of marijuana into the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville.

Before the sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Joey Stevens told Robinson this case wasn’t about the small amount of marijuana, but about the betrayal of the public’s trust by officers who were sworn to uphold the laws of the state.

“They earned a prison sentence,” Stevens said.

“They say there’s more dope in prison than there are out on the streets,” Judge Robinson said.

And therein lies the rub. What is the point of sending someone to prison over drugs? To keep them from getting more drugs? That obviously doesn't work. To prevent others from doing drugs? Well, that hasn't worked either. To hope that one day the government will lock up every 'drug user' 'drug dealer' in the U.S.? Laughable. Nearly every citizen in the US would then occupy a prison cell.....if enough cells could be built and tax dollars collected to house them.

The drug war is an abject failure. Let's scrap it and move on.


Schnitzel_Republic said...

In this case, I'd suggest that the prison has almost no random drug-testing program, and not a single guard ever gets tested. Ask these two characters involved and I'll neither have been tested since the day they got hired. The old-timers and the union guys will say its never necessary....but in an environment like this...it is.

Loretta Nall said...

I don't know that drug testing would have any impact on prison guards smuggling drugs into prisons. Nothing in the story indicates that they use drugs and if they aren't users then a drug test wouldn't have prevented this.

Smuggling drugs to inmates is a lucritive business and as long as there is money to be made there will be humans who will succumb to the temtpation.

We should legalize all drugs, release all prisoners there for drugs and address that issue from a health and social standpoint. Addressing it from a criminal justice standpoint certainly hasn't proved fruitful