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Drug search money better spent on rehab programmes

Drug search money better spent on rehab programmes

15 November 2001

Green Party Justice spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said a new policy to search prison officers when they arrive at work would be humiliating and ineffective.

From the start of 2002, all people entering a prison will be searched with metal detectors and hand-held scanner devices, with the option of "rub-down" searches. All bags and containers will be searched.

Nandor said compulsory searches would be expensive, because they would require extra scanners and metal detectors as well as extra staff.

"Prison officers cannot be expected to pat down fellow prison officers or other staff who they work with closely, so extra staff would need to be brought in to carry out the searches.

"Metal detectors are not a very good way to find out if a person is carrying drugs anyway. They might look good, but they're not actually going to do much."

Nandor said the only way to deal with drugs in prison is to help prisoners choose not to use them.

"Instead of spending more money on extra staff and more machines, Mr Robson should put the money into providing more of the very good alcohol and other drug rehabilitation programmes that already exist.

ENDS


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