Pubdate: Sat, 24 Sep 2011 Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Copyright: 2011 Winnipeg Free Press Contact: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/send_a_letter Website: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/502 Author: Alison Mayes 'THROW-OVERS' OF DRUGS SEEN AS EPIDEMIC AT STONY AUTHORITIES at Stony Mountain Institution are grappling with a sky-high number of drug packages being tossed in over the fence. And they're asking the public to help thwart the "throw-overs." In the past month at the medium-security federal prison, marijuana, hashish, cocaine and pharmaceuticals with a behind-bars value of more than $47,000 have been seized as a result of outsiders' attempts to lob packages into the exercise yard, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) said. The surge is highly unusual. "It's the worst in a number of years," said Chris McLauchlan, CSC media spokesman. Four or five years ago, the prison 11 kilometres north of Winnipeg took a number of successful measures to combat contraband throw-overs, McLauchlan said. It installed more fencing and created a tip line so citizens could report suspicious activity on the yard's perimeter. The activity dropped off so dramatically that in some years recently, there hasn't been a single seizure of a throw-over. "We're just starting to see a resurgence," McLauchlan said. The main challenge, he said, is that the village of Stony Mountain is "right next door" -- only six metres from the exercise yard at points. Methods of firing drugs into the yard include stashing them inside a tennis ball. "What we're seeing right now is very small packages -- simply taking a baggie of marijuana and wrapping it up in electrical tape," McLauchlan said. It's impossible to say how many throw-overs succeed in getting illegal substances into the facility, which currently houses 588 inmates, he said. "Are some of these things actually getting to the inmates? We can't say." The CSC has two confidential tip lines. The security intelligence line at (204) 344-6000 is for reporting general information, such as a prison visitor being pressured to smuggle drugs inside. The suspicious activity line at (204) 344-7132 can be used to urgently report an incident on the prison's perimeter while it's in progress. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.