Prisoners: Drugs

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 10th September 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP/YOI Norwich, published in July 2021, what steps his Department is taking, in conjunction with Project ADDER where prisons are located in Project ADDER areas, to improve prison drug rehabilitation services in those prisons.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Project ADDER is a Home Office, Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England initiative which will test an intensive whole system approach in the community to tackling drug use in locations hardest hit by drug misuse, alongside national activity to disrupt the middle market supply of drugs.

NHS England and NHSE Improvement (NHSE/I) are responsible for commissioning healthcare services, including integrated substance misuse services in all prisons in England. Currently, NHSE/I are recruiting additional roles, such as outreach nurses in prisons for those who commit a ‘trigger crime’.

Through Project ADDER, work is underway to improve outcomes for offenders with substance misuse needs in prisons located within Project ADDER areas, which differs from prison to prison. In all Project ADDER areas, including Norwich, local authority commissioners are mobilising plans for additional community-based drug treatment staff. These staff will be working closely with the existing prison-based treatment services to ensure continuity of care processes are maintained and strengthened. This includes investing in ‘through the gate’ and prison in-reach posts. Some ADDER areas are also introducing specific family, employment and housing support to those involved in the criminal justice system including those in prison and prison leavers

In addition, as part of the Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Accelerator prison project, we are testing new ways of improving substance misuse support in five prisons. Whilst not located directly in Project ADDER areas, some of these prisons will release into these areas, with links being made at a local level.

Outside of prison, the Ministry of Justice continues to work closely with key departments across government, as well as health and justice partners and third sector organisations, to maximise the £80m spend the Government has invested on drug treatment services in 2021/22, to enhance treatment and recovery services for prison leavers and those on community sentences.

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