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Offenders: Rehabilitation

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 15286, tabled on 9 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a harm reduction approach to (a) alcohol and (b) other substances misuse for people in the criminal justice system.

Answered on

17 June 2022

We are taking a range of approaches to support people with a substance misuse need, as set out in our ambitious and evidence-based Drugs Strategy – a landmark 10-year plan to work across Government to address illegal drug use, underpinned by a record investment of nearly £900 million. Our goal is to ensure that appropriate and high-quality treatment is available to all offenders with an addiction, which includes some harm reduction approaches – however we must also enable offenders to focus on recovery by taking a zero- tolerance approach to drugs, with consequences for those who breach this.

To achieve this we are expanding mandatory and voluntary testing regimes in prison, expanding the use of Incentivised Substance Free Living units, and Health and Justice coordinators to support people to engage with community treatment providers before they are released. For those on community sentences, we will increase the use of intensive drug and alcohol rehabilitation requirements. We are also expanding the use of GPS-enabled and alcohol abstinence-monitoring electronic tagging, to help offenders in the community stay off alcohol.