Low-cost option for imprisoned junkies

Evening Standard | 19 Jul 1994

Random drugs tests are to be carried out on about 12,000 prisoners a year to combat the growing narcotics problem in jails. It’s estimated that nearly half the inmates of British prisons take self-prescribed medication (heroin, LSD, cannabis and the like) while detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure. That’s a prison population of 49,000 in England and Wales alone. So the forthcoming tests should provide enough material and statistics for Prison Service paper shufflers to write off an entire rainforest.

But aren’t they locking the cell after the criminal has bolted? Isn’t this approach comparable to giving HIV tests and forgetting about condoms and safe-sex education?

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