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Prison staff 'powerless' in battle with drugs.

AN inmate has described the "unwinnable battle" against drugs inside HMP Northumberland as private jails come in for criticism.

The prison workers' union the POA has called for a public inquiry into the state of prisons, slamming what it called "failed privatisation".

At the same time, it was revealed more than 31% of prisoners at privately run HMP Northumberland test positive for drugs, with new psychoactive drugs such as spice the most common. Speaking anonymously, one prisoner claims the jail - which is run by facilities management company Sodexo - was beset by problems, largely as a result of the synthetic substance.

He said: "The staff are powerless to stop it and are constantly battling an unwinnable battle.

"Inmates walk around like zombie Thunderbird puppets and often have epileptic-type seizures, vomiting and soiling themselves, but this does not deter them from repeating the process."

An HMP Northumberland spokesperson said: "Drugs are a challenge across the whole prison estate, not just HMP Northumberland. We are proud of our staff at the prison, who do a professional job, work very hard to prevent illicit items getting into HMP Northumberland and work closely with partner agencies to provide access to drug and alcohol recovery support."

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 6, 2018
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