Many staff responsible for the mandatory drug testing (MDT) process do not work exclusively on the testing of prisoners. The cost of MDT staff resources cannot be disaggregated from the overall prison running costs.
The cost to the National Offender Management Service of MDT analytical services is classified as commercial in confidence.
Information on the street value of drugs used illegally in prisons is not routinely available. Covert activity such as drug taking, by its nature, is very difficult to quantify. A report published in 2001 by the Home Office titled ‘Sizing the UK market for illicit drugs’ focused on a few specific drugs and estimated the value of the drugs trade in prisons as worth up to £24 million. Since that report, the level of drug misuse evidenced by the random drug testing positive rate has fallen by 36 per cent.