Monday 17 June 2019

Drug-free prisons not possible, says official

Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

It is not possible to completely eliminate drugs from our prisons, the country's top justice official said yesterday.

Department of Justice secretary general Sean Aylward told the Public Accounts Committee that it was not possible to completely eliminate drugs from prisons unless visitors were banned, prisoners were kept in complete isolation and exercise yards were covered by roofs instead of fresh air.

"The complete elimination of drugs is something that is not possible in a humane system," he said.

He had been asked about the issue of drug abuse in prisons as it emerged that at least 25pc of the 3,909 inmates in our prisons had drug problems.

However, the committee heard that there had been a significant improvement in the control of drug use in prison, with more than 700 seizures from inmates so far this year.

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