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DuComb Center director talks security after death of inmate

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The director of the DuComb Center is speaking out, after the death of an inmate on Christmas Eve.

After ABC57 News broke the news about an overdose at a South Bend work release facility,  we sat down with the St. Joseph Prosecutor after two men were charged in relation to the death of 28-year-old Cody Woody.

Now, the ABC57 News Investigation continues. 

"In any jail setting, prisons, correctional facilities, it's not uncommon that drugs may be in a facility like this," explains the DuComb Center Director, Sharon McBride. "They leave everyday, go out in the community, and come back.

She claims her hands are tied.

"It's routine, so of course it's a concern, especially with the situation that happened recently, but as far as safeguarding, we do as much as we can," McBride explains.

A routine that possibly could have been responsible for Woody's death.

Friday, 27-year-olds Alexander Traxler and Christopher Susaraba were arraigned for their alleged roles in providing drugs, that may have lead to Woody's overdose.

They both entered preliminary pleas of "not-guilty," and are due back in court late next week. 

Woody was found with fetanyl and meth in his system.

McBride says, offenders are pat-searched and strip-searched every time they enter,  but they can't legally do anything more.

"We cannot do cavity searches, so when you cannot do cavity searches...even on the street, people ingest drugs," she explains. "We don't have medical staff here. That's the most we can do, pat-search and strip-search. The law would not allow us to do so."

She couldn't tell ABC57 News if that's how the drugs, snorted by Woody, came inside the DuComb Center. 

McBride says this is the first death to happen inside the facility's walls, and that it came as a shock.

"It's tragic for everyone. I know it's an epidemic that's happening worldwide, and unfortunately it happened here," she says. "It's been eight years since I've been the director here, and to have one, with the trend that's happening now, unfortunately it happened, but it's not uncommon."

With about 21 guards on duty, to keep watch over the facility's 84 residents, McBride believes they did the best they could.

"Unfortunately it happened here. I would never have liked to make that phone call to a parent or any family member," says McBride. "I hope that we can monitor better and pray that people continue to get help for any substance issues they may have."

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