Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

31/07/08 Prison drugs crackdown praised by MP Rosie

WEST Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is backing a major crackdown on drugs in prison.

The Labour MP welcomed Justice Secretary Jack Straw’s recent announcement that cutting-edge technology will be used to prevent narcotics being smuggled into jails.

One of the key weapons will be a hand-held mobile phone blockers and Body Orifice Security Scanners (or BOSS chairs as they are known), which are currently only in use on high security estates.

Mobile phone use is known to drive the use of illicit drugs within prisons, so the new equipment will be introduced into all prisons from next year will make it much more difficult to trade in drugs.

The wider use of blockers and scanners are among the 10 recommendations made in David Blakey's review ‘Disrupting the Supply of Illicit Drugs into Prisons’.

Rosie Cooper, Labour MP for West Lancashire, said: “Many prisoners have a drugs problem – around more than half of those sent to prison – so the introduction of this new technology will held disrupt the supply chain.

“I’m pleased the Government is also committed to expanding the use of drug free wings, as well as the range of treatments available for offenders who make a commitment to going clean.

“Prison drug treatment funding has increased year on year since 1996/97 - up 1,008%, with record numbers now getting in treatment.

“Research shows that intensive drug treatment, with good follow–up in the community, can reduce the level of re-offending by at least 10%.

“I’m sure everyone in West Lancashire will welcome the work being done by the Government to tackle the scourge of drugs in our prisons.”

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