HC Deb 03 February 1994 vol 236 c875W
Sir Ivan Lawrence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to introduce legislation to facilitate drug testing in prisons; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard

The Government believe it is essential to take action to deal with the problem of illicit drug use in our prisons. I therefore intend to bring forward a clause for inclusion in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill which will allow the Prison Service to test prisoners for drug abuse. In addition to this a new prison rule will be made by statutory instrument under the Prisons Act 1952 which will make the use of illicit drugs a disciplinary offence. I understand my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Scotland, will bring forward a similar measure.

We believe that these measures will play a significant part in tackling illicit drug use and its deleterious effect on the maintenance of good order and discipline in our prisons.