How Do Drugs and Other Illegal Items Make it Inside Prisons?

Where I’m housed, the answer has always been simple.

Damian Delune
4 min readSep 9


Photo by Roberto Sorin on Unsplash

People often have the mistaken impression that drugs and other illicit substances are brought into prisons by inmates due to what they see on television and in movies. Shows like Orange is the New Black, Sons of Anarchy, Mayans, and the more recent Mayor of Kingstown show those who are incarcerated being drug kingpins from the inside, running large drug cartels from behind bars.

According to these shows, even on the inside, drugs for the junkies housed behind bars are readily available by being smuggled in the fresh fruits and veggies brought into the prison kitchens.

That’s where your first red flag should fly.

Fresh fruits and veggies? Where? Not where I’m housed. I won’t say my camp is the same as every prison. I can’t be the spokesperson for every single prison in the United States, or even in North Carolina (there are 50 plus men’s prisons alone in my state), but based on the places I’ve been so far, I can tell you, fresh fruits and vegetables don't happen within this system so that just isn’t how drugs come into prisons.

You need to keep in mind, a lot of what you see on television is Hollywood posturing and it is for entertainment purposes. The regular day-to-day goings on in a prison are actually pretty boring and wouldn’t make for good TV — especially in a camp like mine where we are locked down 21 out of 24 hours. I won’t say it’s quiet, because these fools are rarely ever that. My neighbor loves to randomly yell song lyrics, inaccurate ones at that.

When I first arrived here we were under even stricter lockdown than we are now and there was no outside visitation allowed. No one from the outside, even prison volunteers, was allowed into this facility. This meant unless you were an employee of the state, you weren’t getting into this camp, period.

Yet, on a daily basis, I saw inmates getting high.

Granted, some of them were abusing prescription medication they either “bought” or stole from other inmates. However, others were abusing suboxone strips and/or K2/spice that were being smuggled into the prison. How? Well, refer to the above statement about…



Damian Delune

Incarcerated writer sharing real stories about life on the inside, through my wife, Demeter Delune (editor, publisher, promoter, responder)