Sunday, August 05, 2007

Government to Cut back on Drug Detection in Prison

If you were the Home Secretary facing an increasing drugs problem would you

a) Look at the system to see how drugs were getting into prisons
b) Introduce a zero tolerance of drugs policy in prisons
c) Increase the budget for prison officers to police the drugs problem
d) Cut the number of daily cell checks to save money

Incredibly d) is the option chosen by the government. The Observer has the story HERE. We already know that Gordon Brown has cut £50 million from the drugs rehabilitation programme. This move will save the Prison Service £60 million. How much it will actually cost the country in the long terms remains to be seen.

11 comments:

RacerDon said...

I believe he announced this as if it was an increase in funding, and many will believe it. Good to see the end of spin in Government.......

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

I would probably go for the option of decriminalising illegal drug possession and releasing all those prisoners held solely on drugs convictions, thus freeing up a significant number of places for criminals who ought to be in prison but aren't and transferring addiction problems to the health sector for treatment costing less than imprisonment.

But Dacre wouldn't like that, would he...

Chuck Unsworth said...

Absolutely astounding. State Policy is now determined by bleeding accountants!

Crass, immoral and damn dangerous.

But what else could one possibly expect from this financially incompetent, unprincipled and remarkably stupid NuLabour shower of excrement?

The Remittance Man said...

Sorry to disappoint, Chuck, but such has always been the case whether it's been a Labour (Nu or otherwise, Tory or even Liberal (way back when).

The only difference is that Labour are the ones who promise to increase spending and then cut back on things. If they didn't, how could they afford all those non-jobs they hope will become obedient vote-serfs in future?

Chuck Unsworth said...

Remittance Man:

I wouldn't disagree entirely, but at least their predecessors had the good grace to attempt to shield their nefarious actions. These animals couldn't care less.

Disappointed? You bet! What was all that crap about 'purer than pure'?

Hughes Views said...

This post suggests that you have "clearly been put up to it by someone".

jailhouselawyer said...

"If you were the Home Secretary facing an increasing drugs problem would you

a) Look at the system to see how drugs were getting into prisons
b) Introduce a zero tolerance of drugs policy in prisons
c) Increase the budget for prison officers to police the drugs problem
d) Cut the number of daily cell checks to save money

Incredibly d) is the option chosen by the government".

Firstly, the Home Secretary is no longer responsible for prisons, its the new Ministry of Justice.

Secondly, in relation to (a) The Prison Service already knows how drugs are getting into prison. Why look into what you already know?

Thirdly, in relation to (b) I would be interested to learn how you would attempt to achieve this, and who would man the prisons if this was possible? Since the 1970s drugs have been used first by the authorities to control prisoners, and to save money, second, they privatised its supply and leave it to the drug dealers.

Fourthly, in relation to (c) I refer you to the answer I gave a moment ago.

Fifthly, in relation to (d), as prison officers are already paid to do their duty anyway, reducing the amount of checks on locks, bolts and bars would not save a penny.

My mole in Prison Service HQ states that the Prison Service budget will be cut by 3% next year. Therefore, savings have to be made. It depends where the cuts are made. As some of the drug confirmation laboratory tests cost £600 each, it makes sense to reduce these.

The prison population projection report is due to be published on 31st of August, as the Prison Service tends to be very accurate in its predictions, whereas the government tends not to meet this need, only then can the damage be assessed.

Finally, in (d), it isn't the government but the Prison Service which has chosen the option although it is in response to the Chancellor's cut in budget.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Is there any political or public will to stop drugs entering prisons?

chatterbox said...

Unbelievable when you consider how much crime on the outside can be traced back to the need for drug addicts to feed their habit.
I really despair of this government and in particular their appalling record of competence in the Home Office.
The Tories in Scotland made the need for dealing with drug addiction the main focus of their manifesto and I see the SNP are taking it up.
It is not rocket science to realise that if we cut drug dependency both in the community and in prison we might cut the cycle of crime, more importantly giving victims and the wider public the welcome respite they so desperately need from this.

sockpuppet said...

I would probably go for the option of decriminalising illegal drug possession... etc

in an ideal world, so would I. But if I were trying to solve the current problem, I wouldn't advocate 'zero tolerance' (what are you going to do with them? send them to prison?) I would reduce all penalties for cannabis possession and use within prisons.

Cannabis residues stay in your body for around 30 days, unlike cocaine (in standard or crack form) and heroin which leave it in 24-48 hours. The effect of drug testing in prisons combined with this fact has meant an increase in heroin and crack use at the expense of the more benign cannabis.

And frankly, stoned prisoners are no bother to anyone. Cracked-up ones might be.

Tony Kennick said...

e) Increase the budget for the drug treatment programmes.