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Prison Service: Disciplinary Proceedings

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison officers were dismissed in connection with drug-related offences in each year since 1997. (235957)

According to records held centrally by the National Offender Management Service, the numbers of public sector prison officers dismissed in connection with drug-related offences in each year since 2005, is contained in the following table:

Calendar year

Dismissals

2005

4

2006

3

2007

1

20081

3

Total

11

1 This covers the period to 30 October 2008 and does not include any cases which are subject to internal appeal.

Information on disciplinary cases before 2005 is not held centrally by the National Offender Management Service and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by contact each of the 138 prisons across the service.

There will have been occasions where drugs offences were referred immediately to the police (e.g. where staff were found in possession of items, which were believed to be drugs, during an entry or exit search) and no internal disciplinary action was taken, other than to dismiss the member of staff for receipt of a criminal conviction. These cases are not always reported centrally as drug offences and, as such, may not be included in the information provided. In addition, the central database does not include cases where staff have resigned before the conclusion of internal disciplinary proceedings.