According to the NYTimes, there were 393,394 visits to Rikers Island to see inmates last year. It seems that many of those visitors are trying their darndest to pass contraband along—and the NYPD finds a cornucopia of valuable goods as a result: “We find a whole host of stuff,” said the New York City Department of Corrections’ chief deputy, Carmine LaBruzzo. “Live ammunition. Cellphones, beepers, iPads, iPods.”

Rikers has converted a series of normal mailboxes into red "Amnesty" ones, so that nervous visitors can anonymously get rid of any contraband they were thinking of sneaking in. The boxes are emptied every week, and last week alone they discovered six cellphones, three canisters of pepper spray, eight blades of various sorts (including a steak knife), two forks, two pairs of scissors, something wrapped in plastic, a hypodermic needle and a calculator.

“Once they’re on the visit floor, the staff will watch for not-normal movements,” Chief LaBruzzo said. Officer Wendeline Olmo said that after visitors get beyond a certain checkpoint, it's all about observation: “Body language. I study people’s bodies. I can tell if they’re nervous or not.” They find switchblades in belts, marijuana in latex gloves, and people with 17 loose bullets in their purse. They add that there's been an uptick in prescription drugs being smuggled in.

The inmates are not charged with a crime if they are not in possession of contraband, though they are marked as I.R.C, “intended contraband recipient.” But the visitors are arrested—and women visitors vastly outnumber men three to one. “They say, ‘Oh, I was stupid,’ or ‘They made me do it,’ ” said Officer Olmo, who conducts pat-down searches inside Rikers. “ ‘Can you throw it away?’ ”