§ Mr. Frank Cook
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received alleging that prison staff may condone drug abuse in the interests of avoiding disruption in prisons.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Frank Cook, dated 28 February 1995:The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about representations received alleging that prison staff may condone drug abuse in the interests of avoiding disruption in prisons.I have received one representation recently on this issue. Ministers have received none.The Prison Service does not tolerate the use of illicit drugs within its establishments, nor do we accept staff condoning such use. This message will be reinforced shortly with the release of the new Prison Service drugs strategy.A national drug testing programme for prisoners has just begun. This will emphasise further that the use of illicit drugs within prison is unacceptable and that anyone doing so will now run a far greater risk of being identified and punished.