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Young Offender Institutions: Drugs

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) inmates of and (b) visitors to young offender institutions were found to be in possession of illegal drugs in each year since 1997. (203897)

The best measure of the number of inmates found in possession of illegal drugs can be drawn from the adjudications data for the offence of possession of a controlled drug. Data are not published by establishment type at this level of offence detail.

The published data are available on the Ministry of Justice website. The latest data can be found in supplementary tables 9.4M&F, 9.4M and 9.4F to the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2006. Similar tables are available for the publications covering the years 1997-2005. Before 2003, please refer to Prison Statistics, England and Wales, chapter 8.

Link to OMCS 2006:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/prisonandprobation.htm

Link to Prison Statistics, England and Wales:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/omcsa.html

Visitors

The number of visitors to prisons found in possession of illegal drugs is not recorded. The number of incidents occurring in establishments that involved the arrest of a visitor and a drug being found are given in the following table:

Financial year

Number of incidents involving visitors to YOIs being arrested and an illegal drug being found

1996-97

213

1997-98

188

1998-99

134

1999-2000

53

2000-01

29

2001-02

62

2002-03

50

2003-04

86

2004-05

34

2005-06

45

2006-07

23

2007-08

41

This has been matched by a parallel reduction in drug misuse as measured by random mandatory drug testing.

All data in this answer have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit.

All data in this answer are drawn from establishments designated by the Prison Service Strategy and Performance Group as Young Offender Institutions. They exclude some establishments which are not deemed YOIs but do house young offenders. Typically these are “split” establishments which cater for both adults and young offenders. It is important to note that the number of establishments deemed to be YOIs has varied since 1996-97.