How to Search a Prison Cell

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Search a Prison Cell. When searching a prison cell, being thorough is vital. Your main goal is to uncover contraband, or materials not allowed at the institution. Contraband is labeled as such because it causes problems within the prison ranging from annoyances or potentially dangerous situations. Your successful search could prevent the injury of another inmate or staff member, or prevent a potential prison break.

Put on your gloves to protect your skin from bodily fluids. If you are lucky to have puncture resistant gloves, they also protect you from possible injury.

Examine the lights and any potential hiding spots in the ceilings. You may have to use tools to remove light covers, feeling in areas you cannot see.

Look closely at the window, sliding your fingertips along the underside of any bars or rails. Windows are a good hiding spot for small slim objects that can be fastened easily to metal; they can also be worked away from the frame in an attempt at a prison break.

Check the bed or bunks for contraband. Remove bedding, and run each article through your hands, feeling for what might be contraband hidden within them. Also, check the pillow and mattress by feeling and looking for any cuts or tears in the shell, a perfect hiding place for weapons.

Handle all items on any shelves and in drawers. Thumb through books, magazines and clothing, making sure no prohibited items are hidden within.

Investigate all toiletries by removing deodorant sticks, opening bottles and squeezing tubes, guaranteeing there is nothing in them. Inmates can easily hide contraband, especially drugs, within deodorant or toothpaste.

Gather any contraband you have discovered, and fill out an inventory for the resident of the cell. Take all confiscated contraband and any items you brought into the cell out upon your exit.


Develop a system to follow with every search. The more methodical your search, the less likely you are to miss something. Remember that inmates have all day to plan a rule violation or prison break. For this reason, it is essential that you take your time and be thorough. If your institution provides extra search tools like mirror wands and flashlights, use them. They prevent you reaching into blind spots and potentially prevent an injury.


Be careful when reaching into areas that you cannot see. Sharp objects like knives and needles can easily stick you and spread disease. Ensure there are no inmates in the area of your search. Distractions and set ups can be detrimental when working in a prison.

About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.