Prisons: Drugs

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of establishing overdose prevention units in prisons.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

All prisons must have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs. Introducing units where prisoners can self-administer illegal drugs would undermine that approach, and the Ministry of Justice has no plans to do so.

As set out in the Prison Strategy White Paper, we are committed to ensuring that all prisoners with a substance misuse need have access to high-quality, recovery focused treatment. This includes enhancing testing regimes in prison, expanding the use of Incentivised Substance Free Living units where prisoners commit to remain drug-free and undergo regular voluntary drug tests, and supporting prisoners to engage with community treatment ahead of their release. We will also ensure prisoners are protected from the harms of drug misuse by supplying life-saving naloxone medication in prisons, for staff to administer to anyone who has taken an opiate overdose.

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