DOC K9 presented a bullet and stab resistant vest in honor of Sgt. Dana Taylor

The Mass Department of Corrections K9 Dodo has received a ballistic vest thanks to a nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. in memory of former Department of Corrections Employee, Sgt. Dana Taylor who passed away in December of 2014. The vest is embroidered with the sentiment” In memory of Sgt. Dana Taylor, Mass DOC, EOW 12/19/14”.

Dana’s wife Pam was on hand along with some of his friends and co-workers.  It was an emotional presentation and we could not be prouder to have K9 Dodo protected in Dana’s honor.  Special Operations K9 Commander Sergeant Mark O’Reilly accepted the vest for the DOC.  Commissioner Carol Higgins O’Brien thanked everyone for their drive to make this dedication happen.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. Each vest costs $1050.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1700 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at a cost of over $1.6 million dollars.

New K9 graduates as well as K9’s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or the website: http://www.vik9s.org.

 

What is Spice/K2/Synthetic Marijuana and how is it making it into our prisons?

Synthetic marijuana, Spice, K2 or whatever you’d like to call it is just a mashup of chemicals which are sprayed on to dried plant material or paper and smoked to achieve a high.  So what’s the problem with that?  Many people would argue that marijuana serves medicinal purposes.  In fact, Massachusetts has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and has allowed medical use marijuana for people who have been approved to use it.

spice-diamond-open-packet

The problem is, this stuff is NOT marijuana, not even close.  In most countries around the world, including the United States, synthetic cannabis is illegal, Spice use is also banned for U.S. Military personnel.

So where does this stuff come from and how does it make it in to prisons?

There are some countries around the world where synthetic cannabinoids remain legal. This creates a multitude of problems for law enforcement in the U.S.

In 2013 the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) took action and formally banned Synthetic Marijuana as a Class I drug, making its’ distribution a federal crime in the U.S.

At the time, the DEA action only covered a small number of chemicals, leaving manufacturers and sellers the legal wiggle room to sell different chemicals in their place. States are currently taking further action to limit the different iterations of the substance.

The manufacturers of synthetic cannabis work hard to stay one step ahead of the law and are continuously creating new compounds to sidestep federal regulations.

This also poses a significant problem for the prison system.  Since these substances can be sprayed on to virtually anything, it stands to reason that it could be sprayed on to letters that inmates receive, legal work, drawings that resemble those a child would send, etc.

In addition, even when an inmate is caught with spice laced items, the tests to detect the substance aren’t always reliable because the chemical compound is constantly being changed.  K2letter

As an agency, we are constantly adapting our methods of detection and ways to deter the substance from being introduced into our facilities.

We continue to fight the good fight in order to keep the staff and inmates safe, but the task is daunting due to the methods continuously changing.  DOC staff remain undeterred and ever vigilant.

CNNReport

CNN Report on Spice/K2/Synthetic Marijuana

MassCor Awarded Printing Contract

For the first time that anyone can recall in the recent past, MassCor or Massachusetts Correctional Industries has been awarded the contract to print Governor Baker’s FY2017 budget recommendations.  Director James Karr is hopeful that MassCor will be able to provide more printing services for offices and agencies throughout the Commonwealth.  MassCor provides products and services while putting inmates to work and teaching them useful skills.  These skills will allow them a better chance for success once they are released from prison and keeps them productive during their incarceration.

For more information about MassCor, their products and services, please visit http://www.masscor.us or call 508-850-1070.masscor_banner