Prison praised for tackling drugs

PRISON bosses have made huge strides in tackling drug use at a Suffolk jail in the past 12 months, according to a new report.The Independent Monitoring Board's annual report on Blundeston Prison, near Lowestoft, congratulates staff on the progress made in resolving the problem and says improved intelligence within the prison has led to a greater number of drug finds.

PRISON bosses have made huge strides in tackling drug use at a Suffolk jail in the past 12 months, according to a new report.

The Independent Monitoring Board's annual report on Blundeston Prison, near Lowestoft, congratulates staff on the progress made in resolving the problem and says improved intelligence within the prison has led to a greater number of drug finds.

In last year's report, the board warned that drug use had dramatically risen as a result of the prison's reclassification to a category C unit. This had allowed greater freedom within the premises and an influx of drugs, it said.

But Michael Cadman, IMB spokesman, said yesterday the situation had been completely turned around in the last 12 months.


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“They have made huge strides in the last few months. The new governor has made a huge difference through tightening up security. Drug testing levels have been at zero,” he said.

“They have taken decisions about internal security to deal with drugs inside and have improved security for drugs getting in.

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“There are always going to be drugs in there but things are much better and improving all the time. They have turned it around, it's amazing.”

One of the board's biggest concerns is the lost property of prisoners - an issue it said had not improved during the last 12 months.

The report said the problem concerned larger prisons which were unable to cope with a high turnover of prisoners. This meant prisoners often arrived at Blundeston with personal property missing.

Mr Cadman said: “We have had prisoners this year who have lost photographs of relatives and wives which are irreplaceable. They cannot be found.

“That's not acceptable. Photographs of loved ones are important in keeping up morale.”

The board is urging an improvement nationally on the issue in the coming year.

The prison is assessed on its ability to hold inmates safely, treat them with respect, provide ways of improving them through education and reducing the likelihood of reoffending.

The report said: “Our view is that Blundeston generally performs well against the four tests and we feel Blundeston to be a good successful training prison.

“Prison life is never going to be easy but we feel at Blundeston just about everything that can be done to improve life is being done.”

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