Prison guards sound alarm over more drones making illicit deliveries to inmates

Guards at Quebec's jails and prisons are sounding the alarm over what they say is the increasing number of drones dumping off illicit deliveries to inmates that could put public security at risk.

"The incidents are on the rise, reports of incidents are on the rise," said Francis Picotte, vice-president of the Union of Federal Corrections Agents of Canada.

Picotte said in an interview with CJAD 800 News they've seen an increase in incidents - drones dumping off a range of things ranging from drugs to cellphones to handmade weapons. Picotte said it's not a question of whether real weapons will make it in, it's a question of when.

Picotte said drones have gotten so sophisticated that they can drop off bigger packages and are easier to navigate and create diversions by dropping off multiple items.

"It's become a scourge for corrections agents," said Picotte.

Picotte would not comment for security reasons about two incidents reportedly involving drones at separate institutions that prompted brawls between inmates and guards.

Picotte said more funding is needed to come up with counter-measures and that officials need to stay on top of the situation to keep up with the evolving technology.

Public security and corrections officials have said this issue is a priority and they are looking at prevention measures including installing screens on windows.