NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Department of Investigation probe has found gaping holes in security at city jails.

In 2014, the DOI made several recommendations to the Department of Correction on ways to strengthen security checkpoints after Rikers guards were nabbed smuggling in contraband.

“Those recommendations were not implemented,” DOI Comissioner Mark Peters said.

During a recent investigation, Peters said an undercover DOI employee posing as a correction officer was able to smuggle in scalpel blades with handles, 27 grams of marijuana and five strips of the prescription opiate substitute suboxone at detention facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Peters said the undercover was waved through even when the metal detector went off.

“Our investigation found that all of the issues of contraband smuggling that were a problem at Rikers are equally a problem at the localized borough facilities,” Peters said. 

The DOI is reissuing several recommendations, including updating officers’ uniforms and moving their lockers.

“The present uniform includes these cargo pants with pockets that make it very, very easy to conceal controlled substances,” Peters said. “The lockers for correction officers need to be on the outside of the screening checkpoint, not on the inside, so that there are fewer things that a correction officer can legitimately say that he or she needs to bring in through the screening checkpoint.”

Peters said the DOC has now agreed to make these changes.

“We will be back to test that,” Peters said.

The recent investigation has led to federal criminal charges for two correction officers and five other people for alleged contraband smuggling and bribery.


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