Insiders or Outsiders: Differing Perspectives on the Delivery of Drug Services in Prisons

Published 17/10/2007
Type Article
Author(s) Alistair Roy, Jane Fountain, Sundari Anitha
Corresponding Authors Alastair Roy & Jane Fountain, Centre for Ethnicity & Health, University of Central Lancashire

This article explores the delivery of drug services in prisons and considers whether prison officers or civilian drug workers should deliver these services. The data is based on a study undertaken by the Centre for Ethnicity and Health in association with the Home Office Drug Strategy Unit in 2004. Prison drug service commissioners, planners and providers provided details of the drug services via a self-completion questionnaire. Additionally 334 respondents including prisoners, ex-prisoners, prison officers, drug workers and members of the independent monitoring board were interviewed. The findings indicate barriers to accessibility due to inadequate environments for delivering drug services, the attitudes of prison officers, the dual roles of prison officers delivering drug services and inadequate training of staff. Whilst a service delivered by civilian drug workers would address most of these concerns, this article considers the measures that would increase the accessibility of the service as it is presently delivered.