A steady flow of Spice is being smuggled into Leeds prison and the authorities admit that the best they can do right now is stop what they can from getting in.
Organised criminals have found many ingenious ways to get the new psychoactive substance (NPS) into the gaol. One of the favoured tricks is to soak the drug in paper before it is then torn into smaller bits of paper when can be smoked in e-cigarettes.
Drugs are big business in jails and the cost of them is much higher than on the outside. For example, an A4 sheet of paper that has been soaked in Spice has an estimated value of around £1,000 in prison.
At HMP Leeds the problem has become so big, inmates are now given photocopies of letters rather than the originals. This includes legal letters, with drug soaked correspondence often being disguised as solicitors’ letters.
Drug dealing in jails is conducted by organised gangs rather any individual doing a bit of dealing. New methods of getting contraband into jails are also being devised. The latest method seen at HMP Leeds has been the throwing of a burning sock, with a stone inside it, over the perimeter wall. Illicit items are then thrown through the hole in the netting caused by the burning sock.
In other prisons, drones have been used to deliver Spice into prisons.
In Scotland, sniffer dogs have been used to detect Spice that has been hidden by prisoners in the gaol.
Testing for Spice
Prisons regularly test for Spice using a presumptive drug test for Spice or other methods of drug identification. Prisoners that have used Spice or other illicit drugs may well be subject to drug tests. In one prison recently, nearly 50% of prisoners failed a drug test. A drug test for Spice will detect use of the drug.
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