Officers of British jails have sent a complaint to the Government’s health and safety watchdog that their staff is getting stoned on cannabis fumes released from the cells of inmates. The warders’ union said its members suffer headaches and sickness because inmates smoke pot. It raised fears that this is affecting officers’ mood and performance.
The Prison Officers’ Association (POA) says the use of cannabis is widespread among the 80,000-strong population of British jails, where inmates are allowed to smoke tobacco in their cells because they are exempt from the ban on smoking in business and office premises. Brian Traynor, the POA’s health and safety chairman, said that while serving at Walton Jail in Liverpool he felt giddy and that night had to lie down while gardening.
“I am convinced I was stoned because of the passive effect of the drugs smoked by prisoners,” the Daily Mail quoted Traynor as saying. The Health and Safety Executive has asked the Prison Service to carry out a risk assessment, which might lead to improved ventilation. The union claims that the drug is being brought into prisons more easily because of staffing cuts.
“We work hard to keep illicit drugs out of prison, using a range of security measures to reduce drug supply, including working closely with police forces and carrying out random mandatory drug tests,” a Prison Service spokeswoman said. “Targeted cell searches are undertaken in all prisons on a risk-assessment basis, with daily searches in Category A prisons. “Prisoners are allowed to smoke tobacco in their own cells. No smoking is allowed in communal areas,” she added.
via : TruthDive
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