Skip to main content

Prisoners: Drugs

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners enrolled on courses for drug and alcohol abuse in each of the last five years. (252506)

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has in place a comprehensive drug treatment framework, based on the National Treatment Agency’s revised Models of Care, to address the different needs of drug-misusers in prison. The interventions available are designed to meet the needs of low, moderate and severe drug misusers—irrespective of age, gender or ethnicity.

The following table shows the number of interventions delivered in the last five full financial years in prisons by intervention type. Individual prisoners may have accessed more than one of these interventions in the time period.

A range of interventions are available in prisons to support those with an alcohol problem:

clinical services—alcohol detoxification is available in all local and remand prisons;

where alcohol is part of a wider substance misuse problem, the full range of drug interventions are available;

a number of prisons run alcohol awareness courses;

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) run groups in over 65 per cent. of prisons;

some offending behaviour programmes address the underlying factors which occur in alcohol related crime;

an accredited 12-step alcohol programme is being run at HMP Bullingdon;

a further four more intensive alcohol programmes based on cognitive behavioural therapy have been piloted at HMP Hull, Forest Bank, Glen Parva and Chelmsford;

for those prisons involved in the roll-out of the Integrated Drug Treatment System a 90-minute alcohol awareness session has been developed; and

the young persons substance misuse service for 16 to 18-year-old prisoners has a particular focus on alcohol.

The Ministry of Justice has established a working group to develop proposals to increase the provision of alcohol treatment available in prisons. The number of prisoners accessing services specifically aimed at their alcohol misuse is not collated centrally.

Table 1: Interventions delivered1 (rounded to nearest hundred)

Intervention type

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Intensive Drug Rehabilitation Programmes2 (starts)

4,700

7,600

10,700

11,200

11,300

CARATs3 (substance misuse triage assessments)

54,100

59,000

66,000

65,700

65,800

Young People’s Substance Misuse Service (initial assessments)

8,500

8,300

7,400

Clinical Treatment (detoxification or maintenance prescribing)4

57,900

53,900

53,800

51,500

58,800

Total

116,700

120,500

139,000

136,700

143,300

1 These figures 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.

2 Programmes available in prison are split into four main categories: cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), the 12-Step approach, Therapeutic Communities (TCs), Short Duration Programme (SDP).

3 Counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare services.

4 Drug and alcohol detoxification data cannot be disaggregated.