18 May 2011

American Samoa inmates found with knives and phones

1:47 pm on 18 May 2011

A shakedown of inmates in the American Samoa Correctional Facility this morning found lots of cash, drug paraphernalia, cell phones, knives and other sharp objects.

Drug dogs were used but no drugs were found.

The deputy commissioner of Public Safety, Leseiau Laumoli, says some of the prohibited items found may have been thrown over the fence, rather than smuggled through the front door.

He says it doesn't help that the correctional facility isn't isolated, that the older parts of the prison are not secure and that the number of inmates far exceeds staff numbers.

But Leseiau says prison staff need to be more aggressive in searching visitors and to inspect cells regularly.