Manchester

HMP Forest Bank: Salford prison tops inmate drugs' seizures

Forest Bank Prison Image copyright Google
Image caption Forest Bank prison in Salford, opened in 2000

A privately run prison in Greater Manchester had the highest number of prisoners caught with drugs in England last year.

Forest Bank in Salford, which is run by Sodexo Justice Services, had 154 cases, government figures showed.

There has been an increase in the number of prisoners found with drugs in three out of the last four years.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said inmates caught with drugs in prison could face further prosecution.

The figures reveal the only drop at the prison was in 2011-12 when there were 52 incidents, compared with 96 in 2010-11 but there was a rise in 2012-13, with 113 seizures.

'Robust searches'

MOJ spokesman Andrew Selous said the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) deployed a "comprehensive range of robust searching and security measures", to detect items of contraband both at the point of entry to the prison and concealed within the prison.

The information came in a written reply to a question from Conservative MP Andrew Griffiths which asked "How many visitors, staff and prisoners were caught attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into each prison in England in the last four years?"

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "It is worrying that Sodexo, which seems to have a serious drug problem in its prisons, has been handed contracts worth millions of pounds to run community sentences."

Sodexo responded: "Drugs are a challenge for all prisons and at Sodexo we take a robust and proactive approach to keeping drugs out of all of our prisons.

"We also work hard to help prisoners with drugs issues to recover from their addictions."

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