Possession and use of drugs within prison is not permitted. Mr Sherwood was released from prison in 1999 and specific information as to whether, and if so how, he was able to obtain access to drugs while in custody is not available.
Prisons deploy a comprehensive range of security measures to reduce drug supply—including use of search dogs, close working with local police and use of mandatory drug testing.
The following table gives the numbers of prisoners held in all prison establishments in England and Wales as at the end of June 2009 to show those being detained for drugs offences as a percentage of all offences.
Remand Immediate custodial sentence All prisoners All offences 13,456 68,375 81,831 Drug offences 1,919 10,696 12,615 % Drug 14% 16% 15%
Immediate custodial sentence
This information is available at the following website, which contains monthly briefings by the Ministry of Justice at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/populationincustody.htm.
For information on the position in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Prison Service can be contacted.
These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.