Eight prisoners have been dumped from a special unit at Rimutaka after home brew was found in two cells earlier this month.
The prisoners were suspected of being intoxicated and staff put the Drug Treatment Unit into lockdown and it was searched.
Prison director Chris Burns says the ringleader faced internal misconduct charges which were upheld by the Visiting Justice. The man was new to the unit and had not started his treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. His security classification was reviewed and upgraded to maximum security.
All prisoners who took part were evicted from the DTU and returned to their previous units. They were at various stages through their treatment.
Corrections staff put a significant amount of effort into stopping contraband in prison but some prisoners constantly try to find ways to challenge the system and attempt new ways to introduce contraband, Mr Burns said.
"The security of our facilities is paramount and working to detect drugs and other contraband before they enter our facilities is at the forefront of our efforts."
Prisoners attempting to introduce contraband face disciplinary action such as penalties, possible charges and loss of privileges. Police may also lay charges.
Since a riot at Spring Hill Corrections Facility in 2013 limits have been placed on fruit or fruit-based items a prisoner can have in their cell at any time as this is a known ingredient for home brew.