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Prisons: Drugs

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2007, Official Report, columns 546-7W, on prisons, what his assessment is of the relative significance of each of the six main drug supply routes into prison; what policies are in place to close off each of the routes; what steps he has taken to ensure that these policies are operating as standard in each prison in England and Wales; and on what date these policies were introduced. (134075)

The supply of drugs into prisons does not take place within a static environment. The supply route of choice will vary between prisons and at a particular prison over a period of time, depending on the demand for illicit drugs by prisoners and the effectiveness of supply reduction measures in place. The relative significance of supply routes therefore changes frequently.

The comprehensive range of supply reduction measures available to prisons is designed to address the key routes of supply. Decisions about which measures should be deployed are a matter for individual establishments, based on local need.

The Supply Reduction Good Practice Guide, issued in October 2003 and currently being updated, provides a benchmark for supply reduction policy.

Supply reduction performance is monitored by Area Managers during routine visits to prisons and bilateral meetings with Governors and the Deputy Director General. Area Drug Co-ordinators receive monthly data on performance targets from establishments.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are subject to (a) closed visits and (b) extra monitoring arrangements at each prison establishment due to drug-related concerns; and if he will make a statement. (134708)