Inspectors slam Doncaster prison over '˜rife' drug use

A team of independent inspectors have slammed a Doncaster prison for its failure to tackle the use of the drug '˜spice' by inmates.

Saturday, 28th May 2016, 8:14 am
Updated Saturday, 28th May 2016, 8:43 am
Andrew McCaren/ Stock picture of Linholme Prison where Prison oficer Rachael Klein had an affair with an inmate. The officer was sentenced at Doncaster Crown Court after pleading guilty to Misconduct in Public Office. Andrew McCaren/

A report published this week, the Independent Monitoring Board, stated that the use of Spice was ‘rife’ at HMP Lindholme.

It continued by saying the use of the substance, which up until this week was available legally in shops, was a major problem that was causing ‘disturbing issues’ for a number of prisoners.

Commenting on the efforts to prevent inmates from accessing and taking ‘spice’ the report said: “The Board is concerned that there does not appear to be a realistic plan in place to combat it.”

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“The use of these substances has had very serious implications on the health and future lifestyle of a number of prisoners in HMP Lindholme.”

No-one from the Ministry of Justice was available for comment as The Star went to press. A reduction in staff numbers at the prison was also cited as a point of concern for inspectors.

The report stated that the safety of both staff and prisoners should be of ‘paramount importance’ and questioned whether or not this could be possible with fewer front line officers.

Inspectors said the reduction in staff had also impacted upon security levels at the prison.

The report said: “Security at HMP Lindholme continues to be a significant challenge. The prison is struggling with insufficient resources to cover such a large area. Staff levels are stretched and technical resources are very limited.”

Despite the number of concerns raised, the IMB also said they thought ‘forward strides’ had been taken to some extent, when compared to the difficult period covered in the last report.

The report, which covered the period between February 2015-February 2016, stated: “The board was leased to note that the Governing Governor built a senior management team who are striving to take the prison forward.”