Prisons: Drugs:Written question - 47805

Q
(Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
[N]
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Asked on: 10 October 2016
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment she has made of the relationship between the use of (a) illegal drugs and (b) legal high in prisons and incidents of violence against prison staff.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 17 October 2016

Prisons should be places of safety and reform. Improving safety and decreasing violence is an urgent priority for the Government.

The increase in psychoactive substances in prisons has contributed to a rise in prison violence, making offenders more volatile and their reactions more difficult to judge and manage.

We have introduced legislation to restrict the supply and possession of psychoactive substances in prisons, and put in place new penalties for possession of a psychoactive substance in custody. Following a successful trial in 34 prisons over the summer, we have introduced an innovative new programme of mandatory drug testing for psychoactive substances in all prisons.

We will be setting out our plans for prison safety and reform in more detail, including our plans to reduce prison violence, in a White Paper in the coming weeks.

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