A new report has highlighted the sharp increase in drug activity at HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire, with the main problem being an explosion in the use of the drug Spice.
Problems began in December 2017 when security netting around the jail came down due to heavy snow. Soon after, drug carrying drones began flying directly to prisoners’ windows.
Spice is a drug that is known to leave users in a zombie-like state. It is a drug that is commonly smuggled to prisoners, creating a real challenge for prisons as they try and crack down on use of the illegal drug.
A report by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) stated that Spice use at HMP The Mount reached an ‘all time high’ as inmates started to receive deliveries that were flown directly to them by drug dealers.
The collapsed netting was only replace in April 2018. By then the jail had been flooded with Spice.
The IMB report stated that: ‘The netting that used to protect the prison from throw-overs was brought down by the December snow fall.
‘Anecdotally, since then drugs and mobile phones have been widely available within the prison.
‘Through the year there has been considerable drone activity but this has reduced since protective grills have been put on most cell windows.’
Prisoners Started to Fall Ill
The increase in use of Spice resulted in many prisoners becoming ill. An average of 20 prisoners needed emergency care each month, with about a quarter of those needing treatment outside of the prison at an external hospital’s A&E department.
A spokesperson for the prison service was quoted as saying: ‘The netting has been replaced. We work with police to keep the prison walls under watch and we’ll prosecute anyone trying to smuggle in drugs.’