Page last updated at 03:51 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Fears over drug addiction in jail

One in six inmates at a jail in Northamptonshire became addicted to drugs while inside, a report has found.

Drugs were thrown over walls or handed over by visitors to Wellingborough prison while drug-related violence flared as inmates incurred large debts.

Measures to help inmates on their release and cut re-offending were also lacking, Dame Anne Owers said.

The National Offender Management Service said drug use was falling and significant improvements had been made.

The Prisons' Inspectorate said Wellingborough jail was very weak

Its director-general Phil Wheatley said Wellingborough, a category C training prison, had become "a safer and more productive place to hold offenders" since the inspection.

Although "no prisons are easy to run at present", said Dame Anne, Wellingborough suffered from a "lack of direction and management".

A combination of "poor design, too few activity spaces, difficulties in moving prisoners on, the availability of drugs, and a younger, more volatile population" added to problems, her report found.

Some inmates spent up to 20 hours a day in their cells while parts of the prison were infested with rats because they had been left "uncared for and dirty".

But Mr Wheatley said he was confident accredited courses and activities had increased which had helped to "meet the levels of purposeful activity that we expect".



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SEE ALSO
Report critical of prison
16 Dec 03 |  Northamptonshire

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