29 November 2016

Widespread Concern About Easy Access to Drugs in Prisons

There has been widespread concern after it has emerged that drug addiction in the UK’s prisons is on the rise; this is among all age groups and involving different kinds of drugs. Addiction can affect absolutely anyone regardless of age, race, gender or religion. While some people use drugs to help them cope with painful memories or the stresses of everyday life, others will do so out of curiosity; nonetheless, many will become hooked after just one use due to how addictive these substances can be.

While you would expect drugs to be difficult to obtain in prison for obvious reasons, there are legitimate worries that they are becoming easier to get hold of, particularly after the recent discovery of £15,000 worth of heroin in HMP Perth. Many experts are now becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of inmates in prisons across the UK.

Discovery During Routine Search

The governor of Perth Prison, Brenda Stewart, has revealed that there is an issue with drugs in her facility after a stash of heroin worth £15,000 was discovered by prison officers in an inmate’s cell during a recent routine search. It was also reported that more than £100,000 worth of drugs had been seized by a prison liaison officer at HMP Perth earlier this year.

Arriving with Drug Addiction

Ms Stewart recognised that many inmates who arrive at HMP Perth are already suffering from a drug addiction but insisted that there are procedures in place to deal with this issue; she was more than pleased with her colleagues for discovering the haul of Class A drugs. She explained, “Police Scotland advised on the recovery of £15,000 worth of drugs from a prisoner – this was the result of excellent work done by Perth Prison staff carrying out searches. The matter was reported to Police Scotland. This is an example of one of the dimensions of Perth Prison’s drugs and addictions strategy.”

Initiatives in Place

She added, “Many men admitted into the prison have a significant history of drug use and dependency and their offending is related to this dependence. Illegal drugs and addictions are significant issues in many communities in Scotland, and these issues are brought into sharp focus within the prison community. Within Perth Prison, there are a comprehensive range of strategies aimed at reducing the supply of drugs smuggled into the prison – including screening, searching, drug dogs and drug testing. There is also education and harm reduction initiatives for prisoners as well as substance misuse offending behaviour programmes.”

Ms Stewart revealed that certain initiatives had been put in place such as ‘through care’. This deals with supporting inmates when they leave prison and return to society, helping them to keep up the progress made by these individuals in regards to combatting their addiction. She also explained that HMP Perth works alongside many partners such as community justice, Police Scotland and NHS Tayside to fight the drug addiction crisis that is happening in the prison.

Many Issues

“Perth Prison has developed an excellent relationship with the Scottish Recovery Consortium. Many people in prison are motivated to change, and so our staff work alongside addiction workers and the Scottish Recovery Consortium to provide support and opportunities for individuals,” she said.

Perth Prison has had many issues over the years, and the heroin discovery is just one of a long list. Recent reporting from the Freedom of Information Act has highlighted that the jail had seen thirteen serious assaults on members of staff by prisoners in 2016 compared to just seven in 2015. More prison statistics obtained by the Freedom of Information Act have shown that prison officers at HMP Perth were assaulted by inmates 26 times during the financial year of 2015-2016 with a range of different weapons including pool balls, burning hot water and sharpened mop handles.

Uncertain About Recovery

Drug addiction is not only a problem within prisons around the UK; it is also an issue for many people in communities across the country. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from a drug addiction, contact us here at UKAT. The facilities we liaise with help the individual overcome their addiction in a safe and comfortable environment; you can rest assured that you will never be judged, either. Many of the staff have had previous experiences with addiction themselves, so they know how to effectively overcome this.

You may feel unsure or uncertain about taking the plunge into recovery, but rest assured that this is completely normal. Many individuals struggle to imagine a life without drugs as these substances have become a massive part of their life. However, once you overcome your addiction, you will be able to go on to lead a happier and healthier life. If you require any further information about our clinics or treatments, do not hesitate to contact us today at UKAT. We will be more than happy to assist with your enquiries.

Source: Perth Prison governor faces up to drug problem inside building after latest haul (TheCourier.co.uk)

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