IT seems prisoners and their visitors will go to extraordinary lengths to smuggle contraband into the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre near Kempsey.
Correctional officers have been praised for their efforts in seizing more than $300,000 in opioids hidden in a pair of shoes.
The vigilant correctional officers were honoured for their seamless efforts after finding contraband drugs hidden inside shoulder pads, suit linings and shoe soles sent to inmates for legal appearances.
There have been around a dozen such incidents in the past six months at correctional centres across the State including at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre where staff seized opioid buprenorphine with a potential prison value of around $300,000, hidden inside sneakers sent to an inmate.
Governor Majid Marashian said officers from the Security Operations Group and intelligence team located 290 strips (9.6g) of the drug after noticing the soles were suspiciously glued on.
"The team did an outstanding job to identify that there was something 'off' with these shoes before they ended up in the wrong hands," Mr Marashian said.
"The attentive officers placed the sneakers through an x-ray machine, which confirmed their suspicions that contraband was stuffed between the sole and upper part of the shoes."
Bupe, as it's more commonly called, is used as a heroin replacement and is currently estimated to be worth between $400 and up to $1000 per strip in a maximum-security centre.
All inmates are provided with prison-issued clothing and shoes however offenders can be sent private clothing for approved purposes including court appearances, external leave and prior to release.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said approved private clothing is carefully searched by staff before being given to inmates.
"I congratulate all officers on their commitment to prevent contraband getting into our prisons. Every illegal item stopped ensures a safer and more secure correctional environment for both staff and inmates," Mr Severin said.