NI to tackle prison substance abuse

In at least one respect, Northern Ireland seems to be ahead of the curve. Geoff Dobson, Deputy Director of the Prison Reform Trust writes to the Times of London today:

The Northern Ireland Prison Service has just published a consultation document setting out a policy for each establishment embracing alcohol and substance misuse. Addiction teams will work with prisoners, linking with community, voluntary and statutory agencies to manage resettlement.

He points out that no such arrangments currently exist in England and Wales.

  • na

    While the report mentioned in the link below didn’t cover the north could the addiction problems in our prisons be contributed to by members of an institutionally corrupt prison service facilitating addiction and substance abuse for financial gain?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/07/31/uprisons.xml

  • Mick Fealty

    ‘contributed to’? It looks like it. But this BBC article suggests that job cuts, long hours and limited pay may also be a contibuting factor to generally bad situation.

    I’ve no idea where the truth lies, though POA has a reputation for generally blocking change.

  • na

    Allegations of corruption/illegality in the NIPS are historic and cross party. Allegationd of senior prisoner officers working with the IRA to target fellow officers and facilitate gaol breaks,some being convicted of being members of Loyalist groups, some brutalising their custodians, setting up inmates for death etc.

    Should the prison service not review the overall fitness of themselves as an institution, as the English/Welsh services have done, before they start moralising and strategising on problems they contribute to? If they are riddled with corrupt officials all the good will in the world won’t lead to change.

    If prison officers are part of the problem of substance abuse among prisoners, if they aren’t addressing that, even in passing, can their plans be part of the solution?