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Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Tuesday, 17 April 2012 08:34 UK

Durham prison 'too lax' on drugs

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The Chief Inspector of Prisons has said that Durham prison's attitude to drugs was "too lax".

Nick Hardwick was responding to a report which found that one in eight inmates at the prison have developed a drug problem while in jail. He told the Today programme's James Naughtie that prison staff "just got used to it".

Greg Carroll, a former prison addict, said that the drug culture was dependent on what prison you were in and the regime that was in place.

The situation now it is a lot better than it used to be, he said, describing how in the early 1990s a "blind eye" was turned to the use of drugs like cannabis.

But Mr Hardwick insisted that "it is a myth that drugs are allowed into prison cause it calms everyone down... it creates tension and violence in the prison".

He admitted that Durham was overcrowded but insisted that "it is about priorities... they have choices about how they use their resources" and that Durham was "not addressing issue of supply seriously enough".


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