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Prisons: Alcoholic Drinks

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many instances of alcohol abuse were reported in each prison in England in each of the last five years. (303546)

Instances of alcohol use in prisons are treated as a miscellaneous incident and recorded centrally on the Prison Service Incident Reporting System. These incident reports are currently in a format that cannot readily be interrogated electronically. To provide the information requested would involve the manual inspection of more than 100,000 incident records which could only be achieved at disproportionate cost. The National Offender Management Service has in place a strategy to reduce both the supply and the demand for alcohol with a comprehensive range of security measures and searching techniques to detect items of contraband, including alcohol, and prevent smuggling into establishments. It is a criminal offence to convey alcohol into prison and prisoners caught in possession of alcohol within prison will face disciplinary action. Alcohol consumption is a cause of criminality in society and many prisons have programmes in place to assist prisoners to lessen their dependence on alcohol.