More than 300 pages of letters 'laced with psychoactive drugs' sent to prisoners

Colin Drury
·1-min read
HMP Birmingham (Google)
HMP Birmingham (Google)

Inmates were sent 330 pages of letters laced with psychoactive substances in a plot to smuggle drugs into an English prison, it has been revealed.

The mail was disguised as letters from solicitors, which guards are not allowed to read unless they believe criminal activity is taking place.

But officers at HMP Birmingham became suspicious of the post during the summer and investigated.

The revelation was made as part of a report into standards at the jail since the government took over its running last year from private security firm G4S.

That switch followed multiple complaints about squalor, chronic violence and acute drug misuse at the prison.

But the new report – an annual assessment made by the facility’s Independent Monitoring Board – found criminality among inmates was now falling.

It suggested the disruption of the letter plot, made when the prison was in lockdown because of coronavirus, had reduced drug supply chains into the facility.

It said: "The reduction although not elimination of the drug supply and bullying during lockdown has helped to create an environment within which many men have reported feeling safe.

"It is undoubtedly the case that staff-resident relationships have significantly improved during the lockdown.

"The challenge will be to maintain this in the future while also allowing a reasonable time out of cell."

During lockdown, inmates were kept in their cells 23-and-a-half hours a day.

Read more

G4S wins £300m government contract to run ‘mega-prison’