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 have been told they will be the first K-9 correction unit in America that they know will train dogs to find alcohol.

“Alcohol has likely been produced in prisons since the beginning of the prisons, but it has skyrocketed recently, likely due to the isolation inmates may be experiencing due to the current pandemic,” said Mark Flynn, major and commander of the public department Security and Correctional Services K-9 Unit said.

We are told that inmates use fruit and yeast products to make prison wine.

Which is high in alcohol and methanol that could kill you.

“It’s a serious health hazard for the inmates themselves, and we’ve found that most of the people were not educated people who produce this alcohol that is at risk,” Flynn said.

We are also told that consumption and use could lead to unsafe situations.

“Usually leads to staff assault, mutual assault, you know vandalism is increasing within the institution,” said Flynn.

Given the potential of these things, the facility wanted to make a change.

And with the help and training of the dogs, it will be easier to find that alcohol.

“So you turn off the alcohol, let it fill up for about 30 minutes, bring the dog in, let it do a search pattern and then go straight to help and as soon as it sniffs at it, tell it to sit down, so once “He’ll sit down, give him a ball, a treat,” said Jessica Hite, K-9 Assistant Trainer for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Although the program has only been up and running since early June, it already shows that it makes a difference.

“In the two years leading up to the alcohol program, we tripled our findings with the dogs in just two months,” said Amanda Nusbaum.

“We are not only making the institution safer, but also our colleagues and employees,” said Amanda Nusbaum.

We have been told that they will expand their services in the future.

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