Former Jail Worker Speaks Out On Drug Problem
Monday, May 11th, 2009
Inexcess have covered previous articles surrounding the issues of drugs in prison and from that perspective, we wish to keep our readers up-to-date with the latest of information.
It has recently been disclosed that a Liverpool prison is fighting a losing battle when it comes to drug issues. Indeed a former health worker at the jail has called for action to stem the flow of lethal drugs that are currently flooding the institution according to the Liverpool Echo’s Luke Traynor (09 05 09).
Moreover the ex-NHS-employee, who had worked in the prison healthcare centre for over 12 months, slammed the customary search policy as “very lax”. In addition he also revealed that wardens are regularly targeted by ruthless inmates to smuggle hauls inside. The current situation he further adds is “out of hand” and details that a bag of heroin retails on the open market at £50.00 in the jail.
It is understood that the use of mobile phones are regularly used to seal the deals and are available for the sum of £350.
Furthermore, it is being argued that inmates are running up thousands in debt as a direct result of their class A addiction and family and close friends are expertly passing on their drugs whilst kissing as well as sticking packages under their own children’s clothes.
The former employee has told the Echo that, “Staff can make a lot of money bringing in drugs. If you bring in a couple of ounces of heroin, they will make £1,400 and staff a couple of hundred quid.
“One female member of staff was recently caught smuggling drugs by hiding them in multi-packs of crisps.
“The search policy for staff is rudimentary and lax. I was searched just once. It blew my socks off.”
It is believed that well-known and notorious Liverpool families with lieutenants on different wings are carrying out the drug trafficking to great effect.
Notwithstanding the former employer has indicated that whilst and during his work he was approached regularly by the inmates. He also confirmed that he would refuse such requests.
Hitherto, it was also a regular occurrence for the guards to be secretly photographed when picking up drugs for the inmates on the outside and then to be further blackmailing to keep the guards on board.
According to the former health care worker that who states “Prisoners groom workers, get dead ‘palely’ with them. You’ve got to keep your guard up.
“There are lots of threats associated with drug trafficking. We regularly got people coming into the healthcare wards who had been assaulted.
Significantly, he further adds that, “If a person gets into debt they get a warning. After three warnings they get beaten or slashed. I’ve seen a lot of inmates desperate to be transferred to different wings.
“If somebody does get a transfer, the debt is attached to their old cell. A new person coming to that cell has a debt to pay which is nothing to do with them.”
Tactics for getting drugs into prison are said to be well-rehearsed with some offenders swallowing condoms filled with small bags of drugs just before being sentenced.
When inside prison, people convicted of minor offences are pressurised to persuade relatives to bring in drugs.
People who enter the jail without a drug habit often soon become users.
As one insider put it: “If you’re a guy under the age of 30, staying off drugs is hard as the situation is endemic.
“Two-thirds of the people there have bought into the mindset of criminality. Prison is an occupational hazard.”
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “This former member of staff should provide evidence to the governor so he can investigate these allegations.
“The vast majority of Prison Service staff are honest, hardworking and professional, and we do not tolerate staff corruption of any sort. Any allegations are thoroughly investigated.
“Where evidence is found to support them, we take disciplinary action, and where appropriate, refer the matter to the police. Measures are in place to prevent the supply of drugs into prison, including searching strategies, mobile phone signal detectors and Body Orifice Security Scanners.
“The government takes the threats created by mobile phones in prisons very seriously and we are committed to tackling and disrupting their use.”