7 inmates stricken with botulism from homemade hooch

There are lots of ways to get contraband into prisons: with open visitation, the long kiss with a balloon full of whatever seemed popular; with closed access, the cigarette butt stuffed with goodies; or bribe a guard.

But those didn’t involve botulism.

For those who worked in the kitchen, homemade alcohol of some sort in various contraptions was convenient: fun with fermentations. But, things can go wrong (which is probably why they’re in prison).

CBS5 reports seven inmates are suspected of getting botulism from prisoner-made alcohol over the weekend in the Special Management Unit 1 on the Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman in Florence.

Starting Saturday four inmates were hospitalized because of severe illness, they are now undergoing treatment. A fifth man arrived late Saturday and two sick inmates arrived before noon Sunday. All seven inmates are now in the intensive care unit.

It is suspected that the inmates may have contracted the botulism poisoning from “hooch,” a prison homemade alcohol, that is made from fermented fruit. Samples of the hooch were sent for testing and officials are still waiting on the lab results for confirmation.