Prisons: Drugs

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's Drugs Taskforce on improving the safety and healthcare of prisoners.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Our Drugs Taskforce, which works with law enforcement and health partners across government, was launched earlier this year and so it is too early to see its full impact. However, it is already working with ten of the most challenging prisons to understand their situation and will invest £6 million to tackle drug supply in these establishments. We will enhance physical security and invest in more staff focused on effective searching, drug detection dogs, body scanners, and improved perimeter defences. We will monitor and assess the progress made in these ten prisons to inform our approach and best practice across the estate.

The Drugs Taskforce is also developing a national Drug Strategy, underpinned by advice and guidance that will support the whole of the estate to restrict supply, reduce demand and build recovery.

We are also adopting pioneering approaches such as our ‘Drug Recovery Prison’ pilot at HMP Holme House, which is leading the way in tackling the supply of drugs and helping prisoners to lead a drug-free life.

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