Being in jail is a training school for how to get away with stuff.
I did 6 weeks dead time between conviction and sentencing in 1981 at the local jail – the equivalent of maximum security -- and saw drugs enter daily. Since any visits were behind Plexiglas, the preferred method was via the exercise yard – we got 30 minutes a day in a small basketball-sized court surrounded by 20 feet of brick and topped with razor wire. People on the outside would flick half a cigarette, with the tobacco removed and filled with hashish, over the wall so it looked like another discarded butt.
At the minimum security institution, where visits involved contact, the preferred method was a long kiss and a balloon full of pills. I was just happy with some contact (thank you, Alison).
But, even wise guys can get it wrong.
The Arizona Republic reports that four state prison inmates were hospitalized with suspected botulism poisoning Friday after apparently drinking homemade prison alcohol,.
Three were reported in stable condition Friday night. The condition of the fourth was not known late Friday.
All four inmates had been housed in the maximum-security Eyman complex in Florence.
"It's not an airborne illness," said Pinal County spokeswoman Heather Murphy. "It has to be ingested or injected. We cannot confirm it at this time, but we believe it to be contraband prisoner-made alcohol."
In some cases, inmates use fruit and bread from their food trays to ferment an alcohol concoction.
Barfield said that she once found about two gallons of homemade alcohol in a garbage bag.
"It's that easy," Barfield said.
But because the smell is so overpowering, corrections officers can easily detect the contraband, which is flushed down the toilet, she said.
In 2011, 12 inmates at the Utah State Prison in Draper developed botulism after drinking a concoction made from fruit, potatoes, bread, water and sugar.
In 2004, four California inmates were hospitalized after contracting botulism from a two-gallon batch of prison-made alcohol.