Prison Service: Drugs

Justice written question – answered on 1st February 2008.

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Photo of David Burrowes David Burrowes Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many (a) prison officers and (b) prison visitors have been prosecuted for bringing drugs into prison in each of the last five years; how many of those prosecutions have resulted in a conviction; and what the average length was of sentence on conviction;

(2) how many people have been prosecuted under the Offender Management Act 2007 for bringing (a) mobile telephones and (b) alcohol into prisons.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Under current statutes, there are no specific offences covering prison officers and prison visitors bringing drugs into prisons. Offences by this group of people would currently be prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Information held by my Department does not identify the circumstances in which offences against the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 were prosecuted.

Specific offences covering "Conveyance of prohibited articles into or out of prison" including drugs will come into force in April 2008 as part of the Offender Management Act 2007. The new Act also makes the conveyance of mobile phones into prisons an offence for the first time and maintains the existing offence relating to conveyance of alcohol.

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