BPS Officers Aid Inmate Contraband Smuggling in Prisons

  • Liable officers will be dismissed from work


The Botswana Prison Service (BPS) Commissioner, Dinah Marathe, has warned prison guards against conniving with inmates to smuggle contraband materials into correctional facilities.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of the just-ended senior officers’ conference held in Francistown, Marathe raised concern over the smuggling of contraband materials in prison facilities. Marathe said that while most offenders are effectively rehabilitated, a handful remain defiant and continue with illegal activities, particularly the smuggling of contraband materials. These illegal activities, Marathe said, are made easy by the collaboration of both prison officers and inmates. Among other contraband materials busted in prison facilities, according to Marathe, are a variety of drugs, sharp objects, and cellphones.

Two registered cases 

The BPS boss said that while only two cases involving officers have been registered, several inmates have been busted for smuggling contraband materials. “We have established that inmates connive with prison officers to smuggle these contraband materials. This is done with the help of the people we entrusted with the rehabilitation of offenders. Be warned, any prison officer found to be conniving with inmates to smuggle contraband materials will be dismissed from work,” revealed Marathe.

Delayed rehabilitation

The BPS boss said that while they have so far busted two officers who connived with inmates, it is still a cause for concern. “Aiding inmates to do these illegal activities is a cause for concern because it delays their rehabilitation,” added Marathe.

The BPS Commissioner further warned inmates’ visitors to desist from aiding the smuggling of contraband, stating that in most cases, the latter conceal these in toiletries brought for inmates. “This underscores the magnitude of the problem. It is disheartening that instead of supporting their incarcerated loved ones, some individuals contribute to their criminal activities. The prison environment should be one of rehabilitation, not a hub for criminal enterprises,” she said, adding that the success of rehabilitating offenders should depend on collaborative efforts from all stakeholders.