Wandsworth Prison Drug Woes

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 125 months ago
Wandsworth Prison Drug Woes
HMP London graffiti

So the worst has happened. You've got yourself in a spot of drug-related bother (possibly after following Croydon's cut-out-and-keep guide) and been sent down to do a bid. Worse still, that pill-popping has left you with a fiendish habit, all cold sweats and shaky hands without that daily fix.

How to feed the drug monkey on your back? See if you can score a transfer to Wandsworth Prison. According to a report by the National Association of Probation Officers (Napo), drug-dealing is so rife in Wandsworth that addicted prisoners are making requests to be moved to the jail. Inmates are apparently "able to get anything they [want] within a very short period of time", with staff at one rehab hostel suggesting that officers use drugs to keep a lid on trouble within the prison walls.

According to one former governor, our inmate drug testing scheme is woeful, with contaminated samples and procedural incompetence found at all levels. Yet the Prisons Minister, David Hanson MP, dismissed the report as "ill-informed", and stressed that the key priority was to keep drugs out of jails.

With the new generation of titan "superprisons" designed to be overcrowded before they're barely off the blueprint, combined with the 55% of people who come into prisons with serious drug problems, it seems likely that our jails will continue to be swamped by drugs and the users who crave them. A grim forecast, certainly, although perhaps something that might well comfort Pete Doherty should be face the slammer again.

Image courtesy of JudyGr's Flickrstream

Last Updated 10 June 2008