Prisons in England and Wales will for the first time set targets to eliminate drugs and rehabilitate inmates as part of government plans.
National rankings must be introduced as part of efforts to hold prison managers to account on how they can prevent illegal substances from entering their prisons and keep offenders ‘clean’.
Inmates shouted from their cell windows as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab were shown by staff around HMP Isis in south-east London on Tuesday to mark the announcement.
As they walked past an accommodation wing, someone seemed to be shouting “f *** bastard” while others seemed to be shouting “f *** Boris”, “f *** Tories” and “bellend” “. Mr Johnson turned and looked in the direction of the Screams before continuing and continuing the tour.
The proposals, presented in a white paper, come after the government unveiled a 10-year drug strategy on Monday. According to ministers, the plan includes the biggest increase in investment and recovery to end the cycle of addiction and recidivism.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has said it will set “tough new targets” that will make prisons responsible for the rehabilitation of drug addicts for the first time.
In addition to the individual goals set for drug testing, the plans will see each prisoner assessed for drug and alcohol addiction upon arrival in detention.
Abstinence therapy will be one of a range of treatments made available to help reduce “excessive dependence on opioid substitutes like methadone”.
Results covering the success of prisons in keeping drug and alcohol offenders away and putting them into education or employment upon release would be published in national rankings.
The Justice Department described the announcement as a “new campaign” to fight drugs behind bars, following on from previous investments and existing government policies after pledges made by former ministers.
The plan also promises the installation of “airport-style security” in all newly built prisons. This will include x-ray body scanners, as already in place in existing closed prisons for men.
Staff members who might be “susceptible to corruption” could also be searched to prevent blackmail and smuggling of illegal goods into prisons.
There will also be drug addict dogs and hand-held scanners at prison gates, with visitors subject to biometric identification.
Mr Johnson said: ‘When young people, and they are almost always young men, end up in prison, it cannot be a dead end for them. And we want to keep the drugs out.
âSo we are investing a lot of money in scanners, but we also want them to come out with more qualifications and more self-esteem for their chances in the future. So basic English and math and opportunities to learn thingsâ¦ like painting and decorating and other skills that they can use so that they have a passport for their skills when they get out of prison. “
He later added: âWe cannot retrain young men indefinitely in and out of the criminal justice system.
âThis is why we are also investing to prevent drugs from entering prison, by offering them alternatives. “
Presenting more details in the House of Commons, Ms Atkins told MPs there would be a “zero tolerance approach” to drugs, guns and cellphones in prisons as she developed a seven point plan to “strengthen the prison system, reform and rehabilitate offenders throughout their sentence” in order to reduce recidivism and overall crime.
But shadow Labor Minister of Justice Ellie Reeves argued the government had a “broken prison career history,” saying many of the measures announced “address the symptoms of our broken prison system and do not not address the root causes of the problem â.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of the social justice charity Nacro, said the fight against drugs behind bars was “important” but “will not solve the problem per se,” adding that prisons must be ” places of rehabilitation “.
He said: âIf the government is serious about reducing crime and creating safer communities, it needs to make sure that everyone who leaves prison has a place to live and break the cycle of crime. cell, street, repeat. “
Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, warned that the plan could be “worse than useless” if it did not correct “fundamental” flaws in the penal system, adding: “Very few people will challenge this vision of safe prisons. and constructive.The only difficulty is that we have already heard it all.
âThe government has released strategies and delivered speeches over the past five years, making very similar promises. In the meantime, prisoners have spent more time locked up than ever before and one inspection report after another has revealed just how deep the crisis in our prisons has become. “