Glasgow & West Scotland

HMP Low Moss report finds 'concerning' levels of Spice use

Low Moss Image copyright SPS
Image caption The previous report found health care at the jail a concern

Inspectors have raised concerns about the number of inmates at HMP Low Moss using the psychoactive drug Spice.

In his latest report, the chief inspector of prisons David Strang said the issue was having an impact on staff, prisoners and visitors.

In one case, Mr Strang said the drug had caused three prisoners to stop breathing during one weekend.

The report found the issue was adding to pressures for weekend workers at the jail.

Staff reported concerns about substance misuse and reported to inspectors that over the course of one weekend 22 prisoners were found to have taken drugs.

On another occasion, staff reported having to attend three prisoners who were in respiratory arrest.

'Additional pressures'

The publication was a follow-up to a full inspection last year, which raised concerns about health care at the jail.

Mr Strang said: "The issue of the increased number of prisoners being assessed as being under the influence of an unknown substance is concerning.

"SPS (Scottish Prison Service) management at a national level should assess and evaluate the impact that drug misuse is having on those working, residing and visiting prisons."

During the inspection, staff from SPS and the NHS were spoken to about the state of the prison.

The report stated: "Staff reported that the majority of these incidents occurred at the weekend, when a far smaller number of prison and healthcare staff are on duty. This places a significant additional pressure on SPS and NHS staff alike."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Spice is a laboratory-created cannabis substitute

Random checks of prisoners with medication are now carried out routinely.

The report also drew attention to improvements at the jail and found waiting times for prisoners to see a GP had gone from four weeks to one week.

Times to see a dentist were reduced from 19 to six weeks due to extra dental surgeries being arranged.

Mr Strang also found that recruiting and retaining staff was an issue for the prison.

The return visit found this remained a challenge, with turnover at Low Moss higher than other prisons within the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership.

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