K-9 Dogs being trained to detect alcohol at correctional facilities

WESTOVER, Md.- The Eastern Shore Correctional Institute is paving the way for other prisons as we’re told they are the first correctional K-9 unit in America, that they know of, to train it’s dogs to find alcohol.

“Alcohol has been produced in prisons since prisons probably started, however it spiked recently probably as a result of some of the isolation the inmates are going through probably because of the current pandemic,” Mark Flynn, Major and Commander of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services K-9 Unit, said.

We’re told inmates use fruits and yeast products to make a prison wine.

Which contains high alcohol content and methanol levels that could kill you.

“It’s a serious health hazard to the inmates themselves and we found that most people weren’t educated people who are producing these alcohol the danger of it,” Flynn said.

We’re also told the consumption and use could lead to unsafe situations.

“Usually results in staff assaults, assaults on each other, you know increased vandalism within the institution,” Flynn said.

So, with the potential of these things happening the facility wanted to make a change.

And with the dogs help and training, it makes the process of finding that alcohol easier.

“So, you set the alcohol out, let it saturate the area for around 30 minutes you bring the dog in have him do like a search pattern and then go directly to the aid and once he sniffs it you tell him to sit, so once he sits you give him a ball, reward,” Jessica Hite, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services K-9 Assistant Trainer, said.

While the program has only been up and running since early June, it’s proving to already make a difference.

“The two years previous to the alcohol program coming in, we have tripled our finds in just two months with the dogs,” Amanda Nusbaum, said.

“Not only are we making the institution safer, we are also making our fellow officers and staff safer,” Amanda Nusbaum, said.

We are told they will be expanding their services in the future.

Categories: Local News, Maryland