Searching for answers
DRUGS STILL RIFE IN OUR PRISONS
THE Auditor General has found the Department of Justice does not have a clear understanding of the extent of drug and alcohol use in prisons.
Colin Murphy’s report, tabled in Parliament on November 7, said the presence of substances presents a challenge to the Department that continues to also manage stress from overcrowding.
“We found considerable improvement is needed to minimise the supply and use of substances and to help treat prisoners’ addictions,” Mr Murphy said. “Efforts to address supply are being undermined by poorly executed searches and limited access to quick and reliable searching devices.”
The Department provides programs to address demand for drugs and alcohol. But the report found places were not available for all prisoners, timeliness of treatment was an issue, and the program may not meet the cultural, educational, and gender specific needs of all prisoners.
“Treating a prisoner’s addiction is vitally important, but at the moment many prisoners are not receiving the treatment they need to break this cycle,” Mr Murphy said.
The report, Minimising Drugs and Alcohol in Prisons, (Report 22 – 2017), is available at www.audit.wa.gov.au.