Prison officers responsible for smuggling into jails
Nearly 4 million people in England and Wales have tried class A drugs - including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and magic mushrooms - at least once. The annual British Crime Survey drug findings show that 11 million people, aged between 16 and 59, say they have tried some illegal drug at least once, with 3.5 million saying that they have taken them in the past year.
The figures show that since the launch of the government's drug strategy in 1998, overall use in England and Wales has remained broadly stable. Class A abuse, the most serious, has increased, mainly due to a surge in cocaine use up until 2000, despite the government's now-abandoned target of cutting class A abuse by 25%.
Fresh Home Office research also confirmed the extent of abuse in prisons yesterday, and suggested that prison staff were one route for drugs to get in. The study found that smuggling by uniformed or civilian staff was thought to be "substantially increasing" the availability of heroin and cannabis behind bars.
The figures show a fall in cannabis use in all age groups since the law was relaxed over the past 12 months.
But 9 million people say they have smoked cannabis, 1.75 million of them in the past month.
The picture for class A drugs has been stable over the past year, but there has been a fall in cocaine use and a rise in use of hallucinogens, particularly magic mushrooms.
Two million people say they have tried mushrooms, possibly because, until this summer, the class A drug could be bought legally.
Despite media coverage warning of a crack cocaine epidemic, only 239,000 people have tried the drug, against 1.8 million who have had cocaine. There are said to be about 16,000 regular crack users. It is estimated 200,000 people have used heroin; 21,000 in the past month.
Among young people (aged 16 to 24) the BCS estimates 45% have tried illicit drugs at least once, 26% in the past year and 16% in the past month. A million young people, or one in eight, have used a class A drug.
More generally, cannabis was the most commonly used drug, followed by cocaine, which is now more popular than ecstasy. There is also significant use of amyl nitrate, also called poppers, and amphetamines by young people.
Further Home Office research by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research at King's College London shows that heroin, cannabis, non-prescribed medication, and crack cocaine were all in circulation at the six prisons studied.
Main routes of entry were social visits, mail, new prisoners, drugs thrown over the perimeter, and contact after court appearances.
More than half the prison officers and ex-prisoners questioned said staff were responsible for smuggling - the fourth most commonly mentioned route.
"Many of the staff who were interviewed acknowledged that such trafficking goes on, and could substantially increase the amount of illegal drugs available in an establishment," said the report.
At one prison a member of staff had been convicted of supplying drugs and sentenced to seven years.
Once an officer has been persuaded to bring in contraband, he or she is vulnerable to blackmail, the report said.
People who are addicted to heroin usually take the drug because it relieves them of problems such as low self-esteem, distrust and fear of abandonment. They may have poor communication skills & poor relationship skills.
The legislation is expected to introduce a new definition of "possession" of an illegal drug, making it an offence to have a certain amount in the bloodstream. This is likely to prove controversial - not least because some drugs, such as cannabis, can remain in the bloodstream for weeks.
UK: This absolutely preposterous idea/theory of allowing a person/s to be possibly charged with 'possession', if found to have a drug substance within their bloodstream, just goes to prove such hypocrisies which certain hierarchies feel justifies passing legislation, is another blow for democracy!
Prisons chief hits at 'gross' overcrowding Martin Narey, a civil servant who has served every Home Secretary since 1989, highlights statistics showing that thousands of mentally ill inmates and a record number of children now constitute a significant part of the prison population.
Clarke faces a fight over probation overhaul UK: The home secretary, Charles Clarke, yesterday confirmed his plans to abolish 42 local probation boards and instead create "a vibrant mixed economy" in the management of 200,000 offenders in the community.
The devilish advocate UK: The devilish advocate John Hirst taught himself law in jail, and has never lost a case against the prison service. Erwin James meets up again with the former 'lifer' who won inmates the right to vote.
Prison plan 'will cut reoffending' UK: A network of community prisons to help cut the number of criminals who re-offend has been outlined by Home Secretary Charles Clarke.
Clarke to scrap plan to peg prison numbers UK: The home secretary, Charles Clarke, has said he is to abandon his predecessor's aspiration of pegging the prison population in England and Wales at 80,000. He will also drop plans to put a legal obligation on the judges' sentencing guidelines council to take the size of the prison population - currently 77,000 and rising - into account when laying down the "going rate" for major crimes.
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Chief justice calls for new approach to law and order UK: The retiring [ruling class] lord chief justice, Lord Woolf, made a passionate plea for a new approach to law and order which would see a major shift away from punishment towards the solution of problems which generate crime.
Throw away the key The one profession to get results on recidivism has been sacrificed to Labour's desire to lock up criminals in private prisons.
Judges' misdeeds will remain secret UK: Judges who are disciplined for bad behaviour will not have the findings against them made public under a complaints regime to be launched next year.
Prisoner total rises 15% in six years England and Wales are continuing to jail offenders at a higher rate than any other major country in western Europe, it emerged today. New research indicates that the government's use of prison as its main tool of penal policy has increased by 15% since 1999.
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Prisoner's cell death UK: A prisoner was found hanged in his cell last week, the Home Office said, fuelling criticism over the soaring number of suicides in custody.
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Row over acupuncture for prisoners UK: The Home Office has responded to criticism over prison inmates who are being offered acupuncture on the NHS in order to relieve stress.
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All the World's a Prison: History No doubt many of my readers, even those who are well-educated or widely read, think that the prison -- the place where dark deeds are darkly answered -- is an ancient institution, a barbaric hold-over from barbaric times. In fact, the prison is of relatively recent origin, and this tells us a great deal about the pretentions and realities of modern times, and the wisdom and high degree of development of the ancients.
Most women 'should not be jailed' Women make up 6% of the prison population in England and Wales. Imprisonment of women should be "virtually abolished", a prison reform group has said.
Youth 'murdered for officers' pleasure' UK: An Asian teenager was murdered by a white racist after they were placed in the same cell as part of a game to fulfil the "perverted pleasure" of prison officers, a public inquiry heard on Friday.
Deaths in isolation as prison segregation increases The use of segregation [solitary confinement] of prisoners as punishment has been increasing recently in Australia, the US, and the UK. Segregation can be used for protection or punishment, but in both cases it results in extreme psychological stress. An indication that segregation is being over-used is the appearance of deaths in custody from suicide of those placed in segregation.
Inquest blames jail for overdose death UK: An inquest jury returned a verdict itemising a catalogue of faults at Styal prison in Cheshire, concluding that the prison's "failure of duty of care" contributed to the death of Sarah Campbell, 18, who took an overdose of tablets on the first day of her three-year sentence.
Put in the way of self-harm in a place intended to protect others UK: Sarah Campbell, 18, spent the last hours of her life in the segregation unit of Styal prison, Cheshire. "The seg", as those places are referred to, used to be known as "the block", short for punishment block. [ Seg is a bullshit word for Punishment, Solitary Confinement, Torture, Mental Illness, Self-Harm, Human Rights Abuse and that is State Terror.]
Britain 'sliding into police state' The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is transforming Britain into a police state, one of the country's former leading anti-terrorist police chiefs [false flag police chiefs] said yesterday.
UK solitary confinement UK: Segregation units are prisons within prisons - the places where the most unchecked brutality is meted out to prisoners. In recent years conditions in high security segregation units have deteriorated, and the use of long-term segregation as a control mechanism has increased.
Inquiry must root out prison racists UK: It is difficult to imagine a more brutal murder than that of Zahid Mubarek. The 19-year-old was clubbed to death by his cellmate at Feltham Young Offender Institution in the early hours of 21 March 2000. He was due to be released just a few hours later.
Failure to sack 'racist' prison staff condemned UK: Two prison officers suspended for racism are still on full pay three years after a stash of Nazi memorabilia, neo-fascist literature and Ku Klux Klan-inspired 'nigger-hunting licences' was found in a police raid on their home.
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End of years of despair as Holloway closes its doors But now Holloway prison in north London - where Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain, was hanged in 1955 - has been earmarked for closure, along with several other women's prisons, which have been hit by a spate of suicides.
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