HUTCHINSON – Hutchinson Correctional Facility confiscated a large amount of contraband including inmate-made weapons Tuesday during an unannounced search of HCF’s largest housing unit.
The search involving more than 1,000 general population inmates in HCF’s Central Unit was conducted by officers from HCF who were assisted by officers from Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility and the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP).
The search yielded 46 weapons, numerous pills and packages of illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia, 10 cell phones and eight phone chargers.
“The introduction of these items into any facility threatens the safety and security of the facility itself, staff and inmates,” Corrections Secretary Roger Werholtz said. “We are very appreciative of the thoroughness and professionalism of the officers conducting the search.”
“These items are typical of what we find in a correctional facility, but the facility is absolutely safer when we can stem the flow of contraband.”
Inmates found in possession of contraband will receive disciplinary reports although not all items could be connected to a specific inmate.
While Tuesday’s search involved special security officers from other correctional facilities and KHP troopers, HCF regularly conducts searches, HCF Warden Dan Schnurr said.
The facility recently had to halt visitation privileges temporarily and restrict the movement of inmates in its Central Unit due to several inmate fights that broke out among two to three inmates in each incident.
“The facility was already in the process of organizing a large-scale search prior to the incidents,” Schnurr said. “However, the incidents did prompt us to move up the schedule.”
The search Tuesday also marked the first time that the Kansas Highway Patrol joined in on a search at HCF.
“This kind of collaboration helps all involved gain additional knowledge and demonstrates how we can work together to keep Kansas safer,” Schnurr said.