§ 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.