Category Archives: Drugs

Ex-inmates deliberately getting sent back to jail to sell drugs report reveals

Legal-HighsFormer inmates are deliberately getting sent back to prison to cash in on lucrative profits on offer for selling drugs previously known as “legal highs”, according to a new report.

Prices for the substances can jump 33-fold once they cross into jails – providing prisoners with an incentive to go back behind bars to make money, researchers claimed.

A gram of synthetic cannabinoids, which mimic the effects of cannabis, can cost £3 on the outside but can fetch up to £100 when sold in prisons, the study said.

It claimed to have uncovered strong evidence that the licence recall system – under which offenders can be brought back to custody – was “routinely and systematically” abused to bring the drugs into prisons.

The paper, based on research conducted in an adult male prison in England, suggested that recently freed inmates committed minor infractions, such as missing probation meetings, in order to return to jail.

Prisoners reported being able to make £3,000 in four weeks by bringing in an ounce (28 grams) of synthetic cannabinoids.

One prisoner even claimed that another inmate had made £100,000 dealing the substances during a six-month sentence – although the report acknowledged that stated profits could be prone to exaggeration.

It detailed a number of “novel” reported smuggling methods, including via drones or sprayed onto books, letters and children’s drawings.

Lead researcher Dr Rob Ralphs, senior lecturer in criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that the synthetic cannabinoid market has exploded and unleashed a series of devastating impacts on prisons, prisoners and prison staff.

“Traditional drugs have almost been wiped out and replaced with these extremely powerful synthetic cannabinoids because prisoners are attracted by high profit margins and their lack of detection in drug tests.

“Our research found that prisoners’ motivation for taking synthetic cannabinoids was to escape the boredom of prison life and to avoid positive drug tests but their impact is extremely serious.”

The study – published in the International Journal of Drug Policy – comes at a time when the state of jails in England and Wales is under intense scrutiny.

New psychoactive substances, which were commonly referred to as legal highs before they were made the subject of a blanket ban earlier this year, have been identified as a “game-changer” as prisons are hit by surging levels of violence.

The government is pursuing a number of measures to tackle the problem under its prison reform plans, including “no fly zones” to stop drones dropping contraband into jails and mandatory drug testing across the estate.

More than 300 drug detection dogs have also been trained to identify psychoactive substances concealed in parcels and on people.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “As the Justice Secretary has made clear, we want prisons to be places of safety and reform and are educating prisoners about the dangers of drugs, especially the risks of new psychoactive substances.

“As part of our strategy to tackle this, we have rolled out new testing and have trained over 300 dogs to detect these substances.

“We have also introduced tough new laws to deal with people smuggling new psychoactive substances into jails and those caught using banned substances will face extra time behind bars.”

‘Shocking’ findings on jail violence and self-harm

The rising tide of violence and self-harm in prisons has been laid bare in new figures which reveal sharp increases in attacks and apparent suicides behind bars. A host of “shocking” findings provided a fresh indication of the scale of the task facing the Government in its efforts to reform jails. The data covering England… Continue Reading

Prison officers ignore use of legal highs and pornography

Prison staff ignore inmates who are under the influence of “legal highs” in a jail where their use is a major problem, according to a watchdog report published today. The Times reported drugs had been found at the rate of ten a month, including very large parcels that had been thrown over the wall, at… Continue Reading

SUBSTANCE MISUSE IN PRISONS – NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT TO SAFETY

The rampant use of designer drugs in prisons is placing local ambulance services under strain as paramedics are increasingly called out to tend to criminals who have used the substances, a watchdog has warned. In one incident involving so-called “legal highs” all of the available crews in a community had to be deployed to a… Continue Reading

Prisoners deliberately seeking segregation to escape drugs and violence

Prisoners are deliberately engineering moves to segregated areas to escape drugs and violence, a new report claims. A survey found that more than a third of inmates who were held in separate units acted in ways they knew would see them moved away from main wings. Reasons for instigating moves to segregation included avoiding repaying… Continue Reading

Legal highs and drones targeted in prison crackdown

Smugglers attempting to sneak so-called legal highs into prisons will face up to two years in jail under a Government crackdown. A new law will also target those using drones to fly materials into jails. Last year authorities recorded 250 incidents of new psychoactive substances being thrown over prison walls but until now police have… Continue Reading

Senior Met Cop Pleads Guilty to Possession of Class A Drugs

A senior gay police officer who was awarded an MBE has pleaded guilty to possession of drugs, Scotland Yard said. Chief Inspector Paul Cahill, 43, admitted two counts of possession of Class A drugs, one of possession of Class B drug, and one of possession of Class C drug. He was given a conditional discharge… Continue Reading

Prisoners used official jail laptops to mastermind £30m drug operation

A criminal gang carried out a £30 million drug-smuggling operation from their cells – using laptops supplied by the Ministry of Justice to help them prepare for legal cases, and which they managed to tamper with, it has been reported. The plotters even paid more than £1 million to persuade a freelance “fixer” to get… Continue Reading

“Legalise heroin” argues expert

Prescribing heroin to addicts could be cheaper than methadone, an expert on addiction has suggested. Professor Martin Schechter, who has long campaigned on the issue, said the drug substitute did not always prove to be effective while heroin treatments have been shown to get people clean as well as reduce harm, lower societal cost and… Continue Reading

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