Teesside jail says use of the drug Spice is decreasing

BBC Tees

The governor of a Teesside jail says there's been a significant drop in the number of prisoners testing positive for the drug Spice.

In 2017, staff at Holme House prison in Stockton were exposed to the drug 140 times - more than four times as often as any other medium security jail in the country.

Five kilos of the drug were discovered at the jail during the same year, hidden in cereal boxes.

Governor Chris Dyer says they were averaging about 30% of tests for the drug coming back positive and that is now down to about 10%.

"So a significant reduction that's played out in a reduction in violence and self harm within the prison," he says.

"We've put in a lot of security but we've also put in a lot of the demand reduction and the continuity of care element for people going out of the prison."

Life in prison: Alan Rusbridger talks to Dr Sohom Das

Dr Sohom Das talks to Alan Rusbridger about treating prisoners who are mentally unwell.
Former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger meets Dr Sohom Das, a consultant forensic psychiatrist. His job is to assess, treat and rehabilitate mentally ill offenders.  

Dr Sohom discusses the effect that a life behind bars has upon the mind, tells Alan about the times when he has made a difference, and talks about the challenges of treating mentally ill offenders inside jail.

Producer: Camellia Sinclair

Specialist officers called out to region's prisons

BBC Newcastle

Elite prison officers who are trained to deal with hostage situations were called out to North East jails more than 60 times over a five-year period.

Figures from BBC 5 live show the National Tactical Response Group was sent to 62 incidents between 2013 and 2018.

The incidents also included prisoners climbing on to roofs and safety netting or barricading themselves in.

Specialist officers were deployed 640 times in Wales and England last year, compared with 402 in 2014.

Inmates transform 'filthy' Liverpool prison
Inmates at HMP Liverpool help renovate the prison and work towards qualifications at the same time.