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Prisoners: Drugs

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners received treatment for alcohol addiction in the last five years. (296155)

Epidemiological studies show that around 8 per cent. of females and 7 per cent. of males coming into prison are dependent on alcohol for which clinical detoxification, the Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) and Alcoholics Anonymous/Peer Support are key interventions available in prison.

Alcohol treatment and rehabilitation services for those with an alcohol dependency in prisons are in the main provided within the wider drug treatment framework. The proportion of prisoners accessing alcohol treatment services is at present generally not disaggregated. However, I am asking for advice on the collective of better data overall on alcohol dependency, abuse and treatment of those in custody.

The needs of prisoners with an alcohol problem are important. A great deal of good work is undertaken in prisons, with a range of interventions in place to support those with an alcohol problem. These vary across prisons but can include:

clinical services—alcohol detoxification, available in all prisons that have implemented the clinical elements of the IDTS;

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

alcohol awareness courses;

an Alcohol information pack and awareness video is available for all prisoners and an alcohol leaflet will shortly be available;

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) run groups in around 67 per cent. of prisons;

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

for those prisons involved in the roll-out of the Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS), a 90 minute alcohol awareness session is available, this will be available in all prisons in 2009.

a 12-step accredited alcohol programme is being run at HMP Bullingdon and an accredited Alcohol Related Violence programme based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is being run at HMP Chelmsford with three further sites planned to be running later in the year; and

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