Prisons have in place a comprehensive drug strategy:
reducing supply, through security measures and drug testing programmes;
reducing demand, through targeted treatment interventions for low, moderate and severe drug-misusers; and
establishing effective through-care links to ensure continuity of treatment post-release in order to safeguard the gains made in custody.
The close integration of measures makes it difficult to identify specific elements that lead to a reduction in drug misuse.
Chelmsford prison has over the past five years achieved a commendable reduction in the level of drug misuse as measured by random mandatory drug testing—down 73 per cent. Chelmsford prison runs a dedicated search team which utilises hand held body scanners plus other searching aids, including a trained and licensed mobile telephone detection dog, which have proved effective detecting drugs and mobile phones. It has received an award from Essex Drug and Alcohol Action Team in 2005-6 for its outstanding work with drug treatment.