Addict prisoners to receive special rewards like extra gym time if they agree to regular drug tests

New prison wings for treating drug addiction will get Government funding of £120 million

Published

Drug addicted prisoners are to reportedly receive special rewards if they agree to taking regular drug tests in jail.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the rollout of specialised wings across England and Wales will aim to treat drug addiction, including through abstinence, with the goal of keeping prisoners substance-free.

The new prison wings for treating drug addiction will get Government funding of £120 million.

The department said the programme will continue after prisoners are released, with offenders kept under closer control in the community with more drug testing and treatment.

Up to 18 abstinence-led drug-recovery wings and 100 ISFL units will be rolled out in prisons by 2025
Up to 18 abstinence-led drug-recovery wings and 100 ISFL units will be rolled out in prisons by 2025
Prisoners could be given extra time in the gym
Prisoners could be given extra time in the gym

New “problem-solving courts” will also direct drug and alcohol abusers to tackle their addiction head-on or face tough consequences, including time in jail where necessary.

The MoJ said illegal drug use costs the taxpayer nearly £22 billion each year, including NHS, prison and police costs.

The department said up to 18 abstinence-led “drug-recovery wings” and 100 “incentivised substance-free living units” (ISFL units) will be rolled out in prisons by 2025.

The units are set to offer offenders regular drugs tests and in return they will be handed with rewards such as extra time in the gym.

Addicted prisoners willing to turn their lives around are currently supported to get off drugs at one of 25 ISFL units.

Mr Raab said: “Drugs trap criminals in a destructive cycle of offending and prevents them from getting their lives back on track.

“Our plan will get offenders into rehab earlier, get them off all drugs permanently and support prisoners once they’re released into the community.

“That will drive down reoffending, and make our streets safer.”