/ Drugs and Prisons

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balmybaldwin - on 17 Apr 2012
Seeing this report on drugs in prisons: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-17732855

This seems to be a widely accepted issue, and not just at this Prison.

Why can't we keep our Prisons Drug Free? I understand a lot of this is to do with a certain level of tolerance of drugs by Prison Mgt as it makes prisoners easier to handle.

If a lot of our prisoners have drug problems contributing to the crime in the first place, why bother putting them in a place where drugs are clearly available.. surely just what they need is 6 months where they can't get a fix to force detox on them?
EeeByGum - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: I am an minister and I am tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. We don't care about the consequences. Just that we are seen as being tough on people who commit crime. Prison works!

Vote Tory.... or Labour or Lib Dem or any party you like. Most would say the above even though it has been proved to be wrong years ago.
Martin Kocsis, BMC on 17 Apr 2012 - thebmc.claranet.co.uk
In reply to balmybaldwin: Drugs don't make prisoners easier to handle, that's a misconception. If there's a supply of drugs, then there is a hierarchy, power and influence. Having a bunch of locked up blokes on drugs only ever creates tension and stress (for the staff too). It's simpler if there is zero tolerance of drugs, then everyone knows where they stand.
In a "controlled" environment like prison however, structured and enforceable rehab is a good solution. Few addicts enjoy being on drugs, and all those I've ever worked with (P.S.not at the BMC!) have wanted to get off them ASAP.
Lord_ash2000 - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: Baffles me too. Surely packages are checked so the only way a supply of drugs can be maintained in prison is if the garuds are corrupt. Prison should be clean or all intoxicans, nothing should be allowed in, surly it can't be that hard to control.
Dauphin on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

this is just the illegal ones - many prisoners cruise their sentence on a prescription of methadone, benzos & painkillers.

johncook - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: Make all prisons drug free (how do the drugs get in there, poor checking of visitors/parcels, or currupt guards?)tobacco free etc. If a druggie is sent down (all crimes resulting from this should be prison level offences)let them either go cold turkey, or rehab them,(inside) and start their actual sentence from when they are clean. Don't allow anything in that has a market value, like methodone. While I'm on the subject make prisons a lot less hospitable, so people are less likely to want to end up back there. I know that won't stop the worst recidivists, but may stop some of the lesser fools. (and save the taxpayer a lot of money in the process, I believe it costs more to keep a prisoner in prison for a week than it costs to educate an 11 year old for a year! Priorities!! I will try to find the refs for this statement.)
crustypunkuk - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:
To suggest that prisons should be drug free is at best idealistic, at worst naive. Having worked in a maximum security prison i know better than most the lengths that some prisoners will go to in order to get drugs into the jail. Prisoners have 24 hours a day to think of ways to bring contraband in, while officers generally can only react to situations. In my time in the service i witnessed some outrageous, some sickening, and some ingenious methods and attempts to smuggle substances in. All mail and packages into prisons are scanned and randomly searched by sniffer dogs, visitors are randomly searched and sniffed by dogs, and the same applies to the staff. Of course there are a few bad apples amongst the staff, as there are in all walks of life, but they are few and far between and certainly a tiny minority.
As an aside, the price of drugs in prisons is about 5 or 6 times higher than on the street because of the scarceness. Yes drugs are common in jail, but they are no more common than they are on the street- you just have a captive market. Perhaps the figures on usage speak more for the type of people in jail than they do about the frequency of use? These are the people that use drugs on the outside, all cooped up together with other people that use drugs on the outside!
crustypunkuk - on 17 Apr 2012
In reply to johncook:
A nice idea, but unworkable. Prison itself is not the punishment, the loss of liberty handed out by the courts is the punishment. Yes we can all say that it's all too easy, and there should be no tvs, no sky, hard labour for all etc, but the European court of human rights gives the prisoner LOTS of rights and agreements on the minimum standard of care acceptable. At the end of the day, some prisoners may be horrible people, but they are still people nonetheless.

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