Hull prisoners are deliberately getting themselves sent back to jail to smuggle drugs to inmates.
HMP Hull has been urged to improve its efforts to stop suspected drug-smuggling by inmates sent back to prison after being released.
A report has found “some evidence” of prisoners recalled on licence were trafficking drugs into the Hedon Road prison. However, HM Inspectorate of Prisons said there was “no clear strategy for identifying them, assessing the risks or taking action”.
The watchdog recommended that the risk of trafficking posed by recalled prisoners should be assessed and procedures introduced to mitigate it.
Offenders serving the remainder of their sentence in the community can be recalled to prison if they breach the terms of their release.
In a speech earlier this year, Justice Secretary David Gauke warned that gangs were engineering situations where prisoners deliberately breach their licence conditions so they are sent back inside to smuggle in more drugs.
The inspection report on HMP Hull said risks to the jail included the availability of drugs and mobile phones, and associated violence.
A comprehensive supply reduction strategy identified the likely routes into the prison and a range of steps had been taken that had led to “regular finds”.
The inspectorate, which visited the jail in March and April, said the introduction of a dedicated search team enabled swift action to be taken in response to intelligence. Electronic drug testing equipment had also been introduced at the prison.
Everything you need to know about Spice
What is Spice?
Spice is a nickname for a herbal mixture containing one or more of a group of drugs called synthetic cannabinoids.
The liquid chemical is sprayed onto the herbal mix but Spice can also come in powder form or even used in e-cigarettes.
Why is it so potent?
Spice started out as a legal cannabis substitute but the market changed and users wanted something stronger
Spice became an extremely potent product and quite unlike cannabis creating ‘super stimulators’ and can be up to 800 times more potent than cannabis.
One pinch of Spice the size of a match-head is an active dose.
Is Spice legal?
The drug was part of what was collectively known as legal highs and was initially made illegal in 2009.
But the product was continually tweaked to ensure they were not covered under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
However, in 2016 all these synthetic drugs were covered under the Psychoactive Substances Act and are now Class B drugs.
Is Spice detectable?
Spice hardly has a smell and cannot be identified when smoked with tobacco. It is also difficult to detect in drug screenings, particularly if they are tweaked.
Who is using Spice?
The big problem with Spice is that it seems to attract some of society’s most vulnerable people and is particularly popular among prisoners, rough sleepers, psychiatric in-patients and young people.
In other findings, the report said five prisoners had taken their own lives since the establishment was last inspected in 2014, and levels of self-harm had increased “drastically”.
Overcrowding was a problem, with two-thirds of prisoners sharing cramped cells. There was also a backlog of much-needed repairs and many facilities were in poor condition.
However, the assessment concluded that the prison was working well compared with most other local jails.
Overall, Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke described the report as “encouraging'” and said HMP Hull is “a prison doing its best”.
Michael Spurr, chief executive of HM Prison & Probation Service, said: “I’m pleased that this report recognises the good work being done by the Governor and his staff at HMP Hull, who deserve considerable credit for the progress made.
“We take deaths in custody incredibly seriously and are introducing a new system to ensure each prisoner has dedicated support from a specific prison officer.”