Government announce £120m funding for specialised prison wings to tackle drug addiction

New prison wings for treating drug addiction will get Government funding of £120 million.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the rollout of specialised wings across England and Wales will aim to treat drug addiction, including through abstinence, with the goal of keeping prisoners substance-free.

The department said the programme will continue after prisoners are released, with offenders kept under closer control in the community with more drug testing and treatment.

New “problem-solving courts” will also direct drug and alcohol abusers to tackle their addiction head-on or face tough consequences, including time in jail where necessary.

The MoJ said illegal drug use costs the taxpayer nearly £22 billion each year, including NHS, prison and police costs.

The department said up to 18 abstinence-led “drug-recovery wings” and 100 “incentivised substance-free living units” (ISFL units) will be rolled out in prisons by 2025.

Addicted prisoners willing to turn their lives around are currently supported to get off drugs at one of 25 ISFL units.

Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Drugs trap criminals in a destructive cycle of offending and prevents them from getting their lives back on track.

“Our plan will get offenders into rehab earlier, get them off all drugs permanently and support prisoners once they’re released into the community.

“That will drive down reoffending, and make our streets safer.”

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