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Sunday, 23 December, 2001, 01:07 GMT
Archer 'tells of prison drugs culture'
Archer has reportedly written a book in prison
Jailed peer Lord Archer reportedly says life in prison has taught him more about drugs than life outside ever did.

Archer was sentenced to four years in jail in July for perjury and perverting the course of justice over a 1987 libel trial and is currently an inmate at North Sea Camp in Lincolnshire.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph he reportedly said he had been "naive" about drugs until he was sent to prison and that the drugs culture in prisons was a "prevalent" and a "great problem".

I don't receive any sort of privileged treatment and it would be insulting to the prison authorities to suggest I did

Lord Archer
"I came in very naive about heroin, cocaine and crack, I am now becoming well informed, " he is quoted as saying.

According to the paper, the interview with Lord Archer was conducted through his long-time friend Chris Beetles.

He is said to have broken his silence after reports in a tabloid newspaper that he had been receiving privileged treatment.

He reportedly said: "I don't receive any sort of privileged treatment and it would be insulting to the prison authorities to suggest I did."

The former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party is said to spend his evenings writing novels and has already completed one book, titled In The Lap of the Gods, and has started a second.

'Greatest punishments'

During the day he has a prison job as a medical orderly, earning 8.40 a week.

Lord Archer is said to have told the paper that the greatest hardship of life in prison was being separated from his family and friends.

He reportedly added that his weekly visits from his wife of 35 years were the highlight of his time.

"I miss Mary very much and I look forward to seeing her every week. I also miss my friends: these are my greatest punishments."

The multi-millionaire has been moved twice. Initially he was taken to Belmarsh Prison, London, which he reportedly described as the worst moment of his life.

But added that the best was being transferred to North Sea Camp, an open prison.



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See also:

15 Aug 01 | UK
Lord Archer to appeal
19 Jul 01 | UK
Archer jailed for perjury
19 Jul 01 | UK Politics
'Rascal' will return, say friends
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