Tackling drug use in prisons in light of HMP Bedford report

The standards within HMP Bedford have declined to ‘unacceptable levels’ according to a report from the new chief inspector of prisons. This report looked at a host of issues that were identified back in 2014 to see if they had been addressed. That report made 72 recommendations and as things stand only 12 of these have been implemented. In total there were 17 recommendations in the key area of prison safety and only 3 of these have been put in place.

This has led to a host of problems including a dramatic increase in self-harm amongst prisoners. There has also been a 10% increase in the level of inmates developing drug problems while in prison.

This increasing availability of drugs is one of the major concerns raised by the latest inspection:

“The stark reality is that prisoners told us it was easier to get illegal drugs in the prison than it was to get clothes or sheets.”

It is important for the criminal justice system that issues like this are tackled. Prison safety suffers a great deal due to the rate of drug abuse amongst inmates. As well as the increase in illegal drugs, the emergence of NPS / synthetic drugs is also a huge issue.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said prison safety was ‘fundamental’ to the justice system and added that measures must be put in place to tackle the increased use of NPS:

“There are a number of factors, including the availability of psychoactive substances that must be tackled. From today we are rolling out mandatory nationwide testing of synthetic drugs, which will help to end the flow of these dangerous drugs into our prisons.”

At Randox Testing Services we work with stakeholders across the criminal justice system to make prisons safer and offer forensic toxicology services.


Our latest innovation suitable for use within the criminal justice sector is the Evidence MultiSTAT. Using our innovative and patented Biochip Array Technology, the Evidence MultiSTAT is an automated analyser that enables on-site simultaneous detection of a combination of up to 20 illegal, prescription and synthetic drugs from a single sample of oral fluid.

Whether testing is needed for new entrants going into prison, or for a drug drive test – the MultiSTAT is adaptable for use across a range of different applications. As an established police forensic toxicology company, we understand the tests and requirements within the Criminal Justice System and believe the MultiSTAT can meet all your needs.

As an analyser it is able to deliver highly accurate and reliable laboratory quality results. Its ability to provide these quickly and over a wide range of substances makes it as flexible as any point of care test. Ideal for the Criminal Justice System, the Evidence MultiSTATs ease of use makes it accessible to all with no previous laboratory experience required.

For more information on the MultiSTAT contact us at testingservices@randox.com to request a brochure.