§ Lady Olga Maitland
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward measures to ensure that prisoners will be considered for temporary108W release or home leave only if they have been declared as drug free.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Lady Olga Maitland, dated 6 February 1995:The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your Parliamentary Question about whether measures will be brought forward to ensure that prisoners will be considered for temporary release or home leave only if they have been declared as drug free.Instructions to Governors on the operation of temporary release and home leave require an in-depth risk assessment to be carried out before a prisoner is granted any form of release on temporary licence. The assessment requires full account to be taken of specific areas of concern such as drug abuse where these would increase the risk of re-offending or danger to the public.Mandatory drug testing is being introduced as part of the Service's initiative against misuse of drugs in prison. The results of the tests will be used for risk assessment purposes in the grant of temporary release and home leave. No prisoner found to be using drugs, who presents a risk to public safety or who is likely to re-offend, will be released from prison temporarily. Where a prisoner has tested positively and is not considered a risk to public safety, there will equally be a clear presumption to refuse temporary release or home leave, save in exceptional circumstances.