13 Workers Suspended Amid Prison Shakedown

Drug Use, Contraband Trafficking Under Microscope

A crackdown on drug use and contraband trafficking at the Pendleton Correctional Facility has led to the suspension of 13 staff members.

Nine correction officers, one contract worker and two other employees admitted to using drugs, while another staff member is suspected of trafficking a cell phone and pornography, said Indiana Department of Correction spokesman Doug Garrison.

The crackdown comes after an increase in the number of inmates at the prison testing positive for drugs.

"We know that offenders are testing positive more often for drugs, which means they're getting them from somewhere," Garrison told 6News' Renee Jameson. "They could be coming in a number of ways. Unfortunately, staff could be one of them."

An additional 38 staff members failed drug tests, Garrison said, but did not admit to doing anything illegal. They were taken for additional testing and will remain on the job until results come back.

"Staff members know better than that," Garrison said. "The process is still ongoing. We still have another couple of shifts to come in in the next couple of days that have not been in."

The prison has been on lockdown for two weeks as every cell inside is searched. Half of the 600-person workforce at the prison has been tested for drugs.