A new report has stated that due to the epidemic of drugs at HMP Peterborough, levels of violence have doubled within the jail.
Inspectors have discovered a buoyant black market for illegal drugs known as New Psychoactive Substances, which include Spice. This has resulted in an increase in debt and bullying at HMP Peterborough.
Around 50% of inmates stated to prison watchdogs that is “quite easy” or “very easy” to get their hands on these new illegal drugs.
The jail said that their highest priority was dealing with the drugs and violence.
Twenty percent of inmates said they feel unsafe in prison at the time of the inspection. Around a similar percentage said they got a drug addiction while in prison.
A former prison officer was sent to jail earlier this month after he smuggled, drugs, knives and mobile phones into the prison in October 2017.
A “determined attempt” is being put forth to deal with the violence and drugs the inspectors stated. The three months prior to the inspection in July, violence was on the decline.
Even so, the Chief Inspector of Prisons discovered that safety had dropped to such a level that HMP Peterborough’s ranking in that area fell to “not sufficiently good”.
In an inspection done in October 2015, the prison had a safety rating of “good”.
The prison got a good rating, the highest assessment, for release planning and rehabilitation.
Staff members were disciplined in January after a convicted child sex offender broke out of prison by jumping over the wall.
A spokesman for HMP Peterborough stated that they were happy with the great work being done by the Peterborough team. Getting the recognition they deserve, particularly in regards to purposeful activity and resettlement, are vital for offender rehabilitation.
The drugs and violence issues outlined in the report were recognised by the prison and most other prisons have to deal with these issues. Because of this, the report comments favourably on the motivated and energetic methods being used by the prison to deal with these problems, which have resulted in a decrease in violence levels.
There have been constant improvements according to the prison; however, it will still be the highest priority along with providing health care.
A women’s prison and young offenders’ institution are also located on the site, but no inspections were done there.