prison drug tests

Half of Inmates Fail Prison Drugs Test

A new report has clearly highlighted the problems facing authorities in trying to tackle drugs in UK prisons. Almost half of all prisoners held at HMP Chelmsford failed drugs tests in 2018.

Inspectors of the prison reported that the jail had made no progress in many areas that needed to be improved and that the failure to tackle drugs was one of the main reasons for this.

According to the Independent Review of Progress (IRP), drugs were easy to obtain at Chelmsford prison. These types of inspections are carried out by by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) to confirm if recommendations that they have made on previous visits are being implemented.

The chief inspector of HMIP, Peter Clarke,said that prisons needed to be have more modern drug detection equipment in order to try and reduce to the supply of drugs into the gaol.

The prison, which hold 700 inmates, has failed to make sufficient progress in tackling drugs.

The initial inspection, took place between 21 May and 7 June 2018.

Prisoners were screened for drugs and 42.6% of prisoners failed drugs test. Much of the violence in the jail could be attributed to problems caused by the supply and use of illicit substances.

In one month alone, £15,00 worth of smuggled goods were seized on their way into prison. On one occasion, a member of the public was caught throwing items into the prison from trees outside. Drones have also been used at some prisons to smuggle items into gaols.

At present, many prisons use presumptive drug testing kits in order to identify suspect substances. These types of drug tests have been particularly useful in identify spice, which has been a problem drug in UK prisons.

In Scottish jails, sniffer dogs have been trained to detect spice. In may prisons, spice use is rife.

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Photo Credit: “hometown – HMP & YOI Chelmsford” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Ambernectar 13