Reports of a lockdown at the Henry County Jail Saturday were the result of a drug overdose by a female inmate. Sheriff Lane Perry responded to our request for more information, “We’re still investigating, but this morning (Saturday) a female being processed into the jail smuggled drugs into the jail inside her person. This afternoon (Saturday), an inmate already in the jail took some of the drugs and had to be taken to the hospital. The inmate is still in the hospital at this time but is stable.”

We asked Martinsville Sheriff Steve Draper what the protocol is for checking new inmates who hide drugs in a body cavity. Draper tells us if drugs are suspected or if a person is being processed in on drug charges, a “squat and cough” procedure is conducted. Inmates not under suspicion or arrested on other charges, are processed without the procedure. “A full cavity search can only be done at the hospital” Draper said. When asked if a new inmate who was determined to smuggle drugs in was likely to be successful given current protocol, Draper answered “Yes.”

(Note – the incident occurred at the Henry County Jail. Sheriff Draper oversees the Martinsville City Jail. Although procedures are not identical at the two jails, they are similar.)