Prisons: Drugs

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases of illegal substance misuse have been record in English and Welsh prisons in each year since 2010.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The number of individual cases of illegal substance misuse is not recorded, however, data and information on drug testing is routinely published and is available on the link below. Data on drugs tests in 2020/21 will be published in due course.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmpps-annual-digest-april-2019-to-march-2020

Illicit substances pose significant challenges in our prisons which is why we have developed a comprehensive drugs strategy which provides prisons with guidance and examples of good practice to support them tackling drugs.

A crucial part of this strategy is the use of drug testing as it provides us with robust evidence on the prevalence of drug misuse and can be used to support security measures, identify and signpost into drug treatment, monitor treatment compliance and act as an incentive to engage in treatment and recovery.

We are also supporting prisons with £100 million of investment in additional airport-style security, including x-ray body scanners, designed to stop drugs entering prisons in the first place.

These measures are part of our wider investment to make jails safer, while working closely with healthcare providers to ensure prisoners have the support they need to live free of the influence of drugs upon release.

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