The road to recovery: a new approach to tackling Scotland's drug problem

Our national drugs strategy focuses on recovery but also looks at prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, education, enforcement and protection of children.

Chapter 4: Law Enforcement

The possession of many drugs remains illegal, and all drugs have the potential to cause harm to individuals and society. The Government believes that we must continue to take steps through law enforcement to reduce these harms and protect communities. An important part of this will be the continued activity to reduce and disrupt supply (complementing measures to reduce demand, set out in Chapter 2). Criminal justice responses are also needed. We want to build on existing measures that truly punish drug dealers, particularly through recovery of assets. For people who use drugs, we want to continue looking at interventions that are not merely punitive, but assist in their road to recovery. This is particularly true for prisons, where a new approach is needed.

This Chapter sets out:

  • the approach taken by the Scottish Police Service in addressing the supply of illegal drugs in Scotland, including a new multi-agency project to understand better the scale and extent of serious organised crime, including drug trafficking in Scotland;
  • the approach taken by the Scottish Police Service in addressing the global dimension of illegal drugs markets;
  • how the Government wants to build on the success of the Proceeds of Crime Act and make a lifetime of crime open to a lifetime of recovery;
  • how the Government proposes to proceed with Drug Treatment and Testing Orders; and
  • the new approach taken by the Scottish Prison Service to tackling drugs use in prisons.


124. Reducing the supply of illegal drugs is an essential part of our overall strategy. At home, substantial quantities of drugs are already being successfully removed from our streets. Seizures in Scotland have increased steadily since 1999-2000, up over 50% from 16,425 to 24,941. 44 This reflects improved enforcement activity - but there is still more that can be done.

125. There are undoubtedly gaps in our knowledge. Despite the significant seizures by the police, anecdotal evidence, and a research study suggests that they have no long-term impact on the quantity or price of drugs on the street, or on the levels of dealing. 45 We want to get to a position where targeted enforcement activity means reducing supply for a sustained period, long enough to let other agencies involved in drug use intervene to promote treatment services, education and ultimately achieving demand reduction.

126. To achieve this, we need to know more about the dynamics behind the drug markets. We are currently working with the Scottish Police Service to undertake an in-depth analysis to map the scale and extent of serious organised crime, including drug trafficking, in Scotland. This will provide us with a better understanding of the true nature of the threat and risks that serious organised crime poses and the extent of the harm it causes to the communities of Scotland.

127. Other factors must influence our response. Drugs markets do not remain static. New drugs appear, and trends in drug use change. Organised criminals are geared up to adapt to these changes and indeed manipulate and influence them. Their enterprises can easily switch from one commodity to another in order to achieve this. So we too must be alert to emerging issues so that enforcement activities can be targeted effectively.

128. One example is the response to increased cannabis cultivation in Scotland, with police closing more than 66 cannabis factories in the last 12 months. This has required a robust approach to enforcement, alongside innovative intervention strategies like the work the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency ( SCDEA) has carried out with Scottish Power to identify cultivation sites.

129. Evidence of increase in the strength of cannabis strains led the UK Government to ask the Advisory Council on Drug Misuse ( ACMD) to review its current classification. ACMD reported to the UK Government in April 2008. The UK Government has acknowledged the ACMD report. On 7 May 2008, the UK Government announced to Parliament that cannabis would be reclassified from Class C to Class B.


130. Organised crime operates on a global scale and many of those controlling organised drugs crime in Scotland may never have set foot here. Effective enforcement requires a co-ordinated global response. Around 90% of heroin which reaches the UK originates in Afghanistan and cocaine comes mainly from Colombia. Measures are being taken to stem the flow of these drugs, for example, by supporting law enforcement in Afghanistan through the deployment of officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency ( SOCA). These officers are working to build capacity with sections of the Government of Afghanistan to create a robust, effective and cohesive Afghan law enforcement community that is able to tackle this significant trade. And whilst - in the case of heroin - Afghanistan is the starting point, there is law enforcement activity right along the route, all of which is aimed at attacking supply and reducing the harm it imposes to our communities.

131. Synthetic drugs are generally produced in Europe and most commonly enter through Harwich, Felixstowe and Dover. 46 These drugs reach Scotland in a variety of ways, distributed mainly through established supply routes from cities such as Manchester and Liverpool. But there is growing evidence that drugs are increasingly entering Scotland directly, sourced by criminal networks from suppliers overseas. Law enforcement is already responding to this new development.

Operation FOLKLORE

In 2003, SCDEA intelligence indicated that James Stevenson was the most influential player in serious organised crime in Scotland. As a result, Operation FOLKLORE, dealing with major international drug smuggling and money laundering, was instigated.

It resulted in the seizure of over 12 tonnes of controlled drugs, with a combined estimated street value in excess of £61m; a total of 72 persons were arrested; assets to the value of £2,157,002 were restrained; jewellery including 55 high quality watches with an estimated value of £380,000, and four firearms and ammunition, were recovered.

At the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, Stevenson was sentenced to 12 years 9 months and Gerard Carbin was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months.

FOLKLORE was the biggest surveillance operation ever conducted by the SCDEA, or any Scottish police force, and involved a truly international dimension. These outcomes could not have been achieved without the full co-operation of national and international law enforcement partners, the Spanish and Dutch authorities, and the useful tools available in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ( POCA).

Operation VERDANT

This operation, which commenced in 2005, investigated an organised crime group based in the Central Scotland, Fife, Lothian and Borders and Greater Manchester Police areas. This group comprised a number of Scottish-based Italian criminals who were importing multi-kilo quantities of cocaine from the Netherlands to Scotland for distribution around these force areas.

They used modified cars with specially created concealments to move money from the UK to Holland and then return controlled drugs to the UK.

The operation ran for 3 months, during which time the SCDEA worked with colleagues in the Scottish Police Service, the National Crime Squad (now part of the SOCA) and Europol to create a full intelligence picture. It culminated in the arrest of four persons in Germany, who were found in possession of 4.5 kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of £225,000. This consignment had been sourced in the Netherlands and taken to Germany where it was to be secreted in a furniture removal van for exportation to Scotland. All four pled guilty to drugs charges and were sentenced to a total of 35 years imprisonment.

This operation is an excellent example of multi-agency co-operation.


132. The Government wishes to see a continuum of enforcement activity locally, nationally and internationally. We will do this by:

  • endorsing the strong commitment by the Scottish Police Service to tackle drug crime and serious organised groups;
  • playing our part in developing the Scottish Strategic Assessment and the Control Strategy which drives enforcement activity;
  • continuing to develop the recently established Serious Organised Crime Taskforce. This group, which is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, has been set up by the Scottish Government to provide direction and co-ordination for all the organisations fighting serious organised crime in Scotland and to support the Scottish Police Service in their efforts to make our streets and communities safer;
  • continuing to support SCDEA's efforts to combat all forms of serious organised crime;
  • encouraging police forces to tackle drugs crime at a local level, including building community information and intelligence. We are supporting them with 1,000 more frontline police officers;
  • building partnerships with UK Law Enforcement organisations such as the Serious Organised Crime Agency and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, to maximise opportunities to influence work at UK and international levels;
  • building a crime campus at Gartcosh to further enhance close working relationships between SCDEA and its UK enforcement partners. Co-locating the West of Scotland forensic laboratory will facilitate development in forensic analysis to help tackle drugs crime, including more in-depth analysis of drugs seized; and
  • supporting the Scottish Police Service to foster closer and direct co-operation with European organisations such as Europol to enhance the intelligence flow to and from Scotland, including facilitating secondments of Scottish police officers to Europol.

133. It is a key objective of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) - the prosecution service of Scotland - to give priority to the prosecution of serious crime, including drug trafficking and persistent offenders. COPFS recognises the benefit of working with the police, the SCDEA and other criminal justice partners to bring those instrumental in drug trafficking to justice. COPFS are also committed to fully utilising the powers available under the Proceeds of Crime legislation.


134. As well as disrupting the supply of illegal drugs, we want to ensure that those who are instrumental in their trafficking are brought to justice. That is why seizing assets is a key part of our enforcement strategy - hitting the criminal where it hurts - in their pocket. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ( POCA) is a powerful tool allowing law enforcement agencies to track down and recover the profits of crime from people deemed to have benefited from having a criminal lifestyle.

135. The legislation allows the Crown to restrain a suspect's assets at the start of a criminal investigation, therefore making it more difficult for criminals to hide or dispose of their assets. Following conviction, the Crown can then use criminal confiscation powers to recover the profits from criminal activity. As noted in Chapter 3, a proportion of that is being recycled into local communities, and helping to provide new opportunities and facilities for young people. Significantly, when a conviction is obtained under section 96 of POCA the onus shifts to the accused in that they have to demonstrate what their legitimate income has been over the previous six years and that the assets they have accumulated have been funded from legitimate sources.

136. We now want to further strengthen the Act. We are discussing with the Home Office the possibility of:

  • extending the time periods taken into account for confiscation and the recovery of assets. A lifetime of crime should be open to a lifetime of recovery;
  • reduce the criminal benefit amount from £5000 to £1000;
  • reduce the minimum cash seizure threshold. The recent reduction from £5000 to £1000 has already been a particular success in Scotland, and there would be a benefit in a further reduction; and
  • extending the range of offences indicative of a criminal lifestyle.


137. People with problem drug use often commit crime in order to be able to finance their addiction. It is estimated that the average cost of heroin addiction is £238 per week. Although acquisitive crime has decreased by 4% over the last year, it is still too high. Drug-related anti-social behaviour, violence and crime in local communities can have a significant impact on the quality of life of local residents. As well as affecting the general well-being of local communities, it can affect future investment opportunities, or lead to further drug use or dealing especially in those areas which are most deprived.

138. The National Strategy for the Management of Offenders sets the direction for the work of Community Justice Authorities and partnership working to reduce reoffending. The strategy recognises that a key component in reducing reoffending is Closing the Opportunity Gap and tackling social exclusion and poverty. The strategy also identifies a common set of objectives, which includes reducing or stabilising substance misuse.

139. The Government believes that the best way to reduce drug-related crime and re-offending is to get problem drug users into the appropriate treatment and support services. We do this by providing opportunities at all stages of the criminal justice system for people to access treatment to promote recovery from drug addiction. A range of different interventions exist:

140. Arrest referral schemes provide an opportunity for those individuals with drugs issues who have been arrested, to engage on a voluntary basis with drug treatment and/or other appropriate services. An evaluation, which reported in 2006, suggested that arrest referral schemes, which are restricted to certain areas of Scotland, appear to be successful in targeting arrestees with substance misuse problems.

141. We are also piloting for an initial period of two years, in three areas of Scotland, the mandatory drug testing of those arrested for certain 'trigger' offences - principally theft and Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The drugs test is for certain Class A drugs and, for those who test positive, there is a statutory requirement for them to undergo a mandatory drugs assessment with a view to assisting them into treatment. We will consider in the light of the lessons learnt from the pilot whether or not this initiative should be rolled out further to other areas of high drugs prevalence.

142. Drug Courts operate in Glasgow and Fife. They are targeted at those with complex and deeply entrenched drug problems to help them recover from addiction and rebuild their lives. Specialist sheriffs, multi-agency working and effective case management are key characteristics of the drug court. Evidence shows that a sizeable proportion of drug court clients were to achieve and sustain reductions in drug use and associated offending. 47 The success and effectiveness of drug courts will be reviewed in spring 2009.

143. Drug Treatment and Testing Orders ( DTTOs) are targeted on a relatively narrow band of high tariff offenders with a significant number of previous convictions and custodial sentences and who might otherwise be facing a further custodial term. The Order contains features unique to a community penalty, including requirements for regular reviews by the court and for the offender to consent to frequent random drug tests throughout the lifetime of the Order. Those made the subject of an Order require to display significant levels of co-operation and compliance during what is a highly intensive and invasive community disposal.

144. 696 orders were imposed in 2006-07. Previous research showed DTTOs can have a positive impact on drug use and offending. 48 After six months on an order an individual's expenditure on drugs decreased from an average of £490 per week pre-sentence to an average of £57 per week. Despite having extensive prior criminal histories, almost half of those who complete their orders had no further convictions within two years. DTTOs also compare well with the cost of prison - the average annual cost of a DTTO is £10,000, while the average cost of prison is £35,000 per year.

145. Historically, courts have also been able to impose a specific additional condition requiring an offender to undertake drug treatment/education as part of a probation order. Offenders receiving a probation order with a condition of drug treatment generally have a lesser criminal history than those made the subject of a DTTO but the nature of the order allows a more holistic approach to be applied to address issues of accommodation, employment, etc. in addition to the drug use. In 2006-07 courts imposed 477 such orders.

Edinburgh Drug Treatment Testing Order Scheme

The Edinburgh DTTO scheme began in January 2003. It has imposed 501 orders with 161 successful completions of the order. It operates a proactive approach to completion of the Order. Each client is allocated to a team consisting of a social worker, nurse and resource worker and is expected to attend 3 to 4 times weekly with drug testing twice weekly. To begin with there is a focus on introducing stability and structure to the client's live and reducing chaos. Help is given on issues such as benefits, accommodation issues, prescribing services and so on. Each client attends individual treatment sessions; participates in group activities on relapse prevention; and attends initiatives to help them get back into training, education or employment. Each client receives a personalised exit strategy and will continue to receive support from the Community Liaison Nurse once the order is completed. Edinburgh DTTO has achieved positive outcomes with its clients: both drug use and offending have dramatically reduced - 48% of those who completed their orders had no further convictions within two years. In March 2007 the Edinburgh DTTO Team received the Butler Trust Award in recognition of its work.


146. The vast majority of children and young people in Scotland make a positive contribution to society. Although some experiment with drugs, including tobacco, alcohol and cannabis for a variety of reasons during their teenage years, few progress to be problem drug users. As noted previously, in the late teens, the progression from experimentation to regular and then problem drug use appears to be strongly linked to socio-economic disadvantage and there is evidence that there are also links with other negative outcomes, including involvement in offending.

147. The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime 49 provides evidence that there are links between substance misuse and 'delinquency'. 50 The Edinburgh Study found that multiple substance users reported higher levels of delinquent behaviours both in terms of variety and volume of types of delinquent behaviour. Multiple substance users also reported higher levels of victimisation, high impulsivity and lower self-esteem; greater involvement in unconventional activities; weaker parental supervision and stronger peer influence than single substance users and non-users.

148. We expect that concerns about a child or young person's behaviour should be addressed through an early and effective response by the relevant agencies. Where drug use is a factor in offending, then regardless of the level of seriousness of that drug use, it must be addressed in conjunction with other needs and risks, by the appropriate range of professionals including specialists who deal with drug problems. Where relevant, this will be through the Children's Hearings System, to minimise harm to the individual, their family and community and increase their capacity to become a successful learner, confident individual, effective contributor and responsible citizen.


149. We are keen to learn lessons from these initiatives and look at how they can be applied more widely to achieve greater success. Specifically building on the success of DTTOs with high tariff offenders, we believe there is scope to extend its use to offenders at an earlier stage in their offending careers and to provide the lower courts with the opportunity to impose a DTTO in appropriate cases.

150. We will therefore shortly be undertaking a pilot exercise in the majority of courts in the Lothians and Borders Sheriffdom using DTTOs with lower tariff offenders. Whilst the pilot will operate within the existing DTTO legislation certain elements of the order, e.g. length and frequency of reviews will be adjusted to reflect the less serious criminal history of those offenders being dealt with as part of the pilot exercise.

151. We will consider in the future, on the basis of a full external evaluation, considering cost, viability, effectiveness and the availability of resources whether to roll out this scheme to other areas in Scotland.


152. Two of the major challenges facing the Scottish Prison Service ( SPS) today are preventing drugs getting into prisons and managing prisoners with drug problems. Prisons are overcrowded and prisoner numbers continue to rise with current population levels at over 8,000. The majority of prisoners are only in prison for a short time. Prisoners experience a concentration of community problems, such as drugs, alcohol, Hepatitis C infection and mental health problems.

153. Drug problems are highly common in prisons with 69% reporting use of illicit drugs in the previous 12 months on admission (53% reported heroin use) compared with 8% in the community.

154. Heroin, cannabis and benzodiazepines continue to be the main drugs of choice for prisoners within the SPS. There is clear evidence to indicate that illegal drugs entering the prison estate are used for personal use, and as a currency to further bullying, intimidation and criminal activities within the prisoner population. Illegal drugs entering the prison environment are some 3 to 5 times more expensive than those circulated within the local community. In the last year, there were over 1,400 drug finds in prison. Once in prison, reported drug use falls to 30%, however 3% continue to inject whilst in custody with 80% sharing illegal injecting equipment. Nearly one in five of prisoners (18%) are prescribed methadone with 15% reporting being on a reducing dose. 51


155. The Prison Service is focussed on the delivery of the nine offender outcomes which are set out in the National Strategy for the Management of Offenders - Reducing Re-offending 200652 and include an outcome of 'reduced or stabilised substance misuse'. To meet this outcome SPS is taking a dual approach which:

  • supports drug users to address their drug problem by delivering services which are broadly equivalent to what is available in the community, in line with the World Health Organisation principles; and
  • ensures that effective security measures are in place to reduce the supply of illegal drugs and to prevent the trafficking of drugs within the prison setting.


156. A comprehensive range of security measures has been developed in order to reduce the supply of illegal drugs entering Scotland's prisons.

157. Significant investment is being made in the development of new technology to combat the growing threat of illegal commodity entering the prison estate, including drug paraphernalia and the increased use and detection of mobile phones. Staff training and development in this area is maintained in an attempt to detect, disrupt and deter those individuals attempting to introduce drugs into the prison environment.


158. Over recent years the SPS has moved from a solely punitive approach of mandatory drug testing to a set of testing arrangements with clear purpose. Punitive responses to drug use, as happened under mandatory drug testing, have been found not to be a deterrent to drug users, had limited success as a trends and prevalence measure and did little to encourage problem users into treatment.

159. By contrast, a therapeutic approach encourages prisoners with problem drug use to come forward for treatment and enables movement along an integrated care pathway from admission through to liberation into the community - and beyond.

160. The SPS remains committed to the zero tolerance of drug use and trafficking in prisons. Drug testing in prison is now carried out to support clinical prescribing, progression through a sentence, risk management and to identify incidence and prevalence of drug use.

161. Drug testing in prison is carried out extensively for three specific reasons:

Clinical Management

  • Reception Testing - Prisoners who present with a substance misuse history, and wish assistance, will be invited to be tested during the admission process; and
  • Clinical Testing - Prisoners on a substitute prescribing programme (normally methadone) or those who are admitted following a breach of a Drug Testing and Treatment Order will be tested for treatment purposes.

Prison Management

  • Risk Assessment Testing - for those prisoners who agree to a testing regime as part of their sentence management; and
  • Suspicion Testing - for the testing of those prisoners whom prison staff consider may be under the influence of illegal substances.


  • A sample of prisoners are tested annually on reception and liberation from prison to assess drug use for a range of illegal substances.


162. The SPS has moved from a position of aspiring to create Drug Free Areas in prisons, and advocates the introduction of Addiction Support Areas.

163. Every person entering prison currently receives a health care assessment where, if appropriate, they undergo detoxification or may be provided with a substitute prescription. All prisoners serving more than 31 days have the opportunity to access Enhanced Addiction Casework Services ( EACS) delivered by Phoenix Futures through a national service contract. Prisoners participate in the Integrated Case Management ( ICM) process, which results in an agreed plan to address their wider, and often complex needs, such as accommodation, family relationships, learning skills, employment and offending behaviour issues. Specialist substance misuse assessments, including voluntary drug testing to support substitute prescribing, are carried out.

164. The Community Integration Plan ( CIP) aims to provide purpose and meaning to an individual's time in custody by sequencing interventions appropriately according to risk, need and responsivity. It also addresses need by identifying appropriate services and throughcare links which form a vital part of facilitating resettlement, promoting recovery from drug problems, ensuring a smoother return to the community post-release, lessening the risk of overdose soon after release and reducing the risk of re-offending in the future. Support is tailored to suit the needs of specific population groups such as women, young offenders, short and long-term prisoners.

165. It is essential that integration and partnership working with local authorities, housing, families, social work, health and addiction services are well developed to support and promote a prisoner's recovery, particularly after release from custody. The integrated care process allows prisoners to access the appropriate social skills and specialist addiction services to assist them in their recovery in preparation for transfer to the mainstream prison regime and ultimately integration back into the community on release. There is still work to be done to ensure every prisoner can access a standardised package of care, tailored to individual needs, at every establishment. To do this, prisons will improve the integration of medical treatment with the wider 'wraparound' therapeutic support to give a prisoner the best chance of recovery from drug problems and to go on to rebuild their life after prison.

166.SPS is currently piloting this new model of care within HMP Edinburgh. A key element of the pilot is the requirement for an automatic referral by medical staff to 'wraparound' services if a prisoner is identified as having a drug problem on admission. If the evaluation is successful all prisons will begin to work this way during 2008.


167. We need to ensure continuity of care on admission, on transfer to other prisons during a sentence and on release into the community. To underpin this, we will encourage information sharing between prisons and community service providers. Unplanned discharge along with planned discharge of prisoners at weekends and public holidays continues to be problematic particularly in relation to substitute prescribing - further partnership working is required to ensure that the immediate needs of this vulnerable group are addressed through a range of community services which permit immediate access for individuals following release from the Criminal Justice Sector, for example, interim liberation from court. A flexible approach by community services during evenings and weekends is likely to be required to meet the immediate needs of these individuals.

168. All prisoners with addiction difficulties have their needs assessed and appropriate treatment arranged through the Scottish Prison Service's Integrated Case Management ( ICM) process. Prisoners who have addiction difficulties and are subject to statutory supervision on release will be linked to appropriate community based services by their supervising officer, as part of the risk management plan agreed at the multi-agency ICM case conference. This ensures that the necessary supports post release are in place prior to the prisoner's release from custody. Assisting prisoners with their drug problems helps prevent further reoffending on release and promotes their reintegration.

169. Prisoners who have drug problems and are not subject to statutory supervision can access support from the Throughcare Addiction Service ( TAS), which forms part of the voluntary throughcare arrangements. TAS aims to provide a continuity of care for those short term prisoners leaving custody who wish to receive addiction services in the community. TAS provides a seamless transition from substance misuse work undertaken during the custodial period through to the community. The service, which is managed by local authorities or by one of their contracted service providers, seeks to engage prisoners at least six weeks prior to release from custody and to motivate them to address drug use and associated problems. It then sustains that motivation by having in place pre-release a community integration plan which establishes a clear and agreed pathway forward to continue work in the community. The Throughcare Addiction Service links the prisoner into community based resources and continues to work with them for at least six weeks post release. The Service has close working links with the Scottish Prison Service and community health and addiction resources.

170. It is the intention of SPS to develop and implement an information sharing protocol between Throughcare Addiction Services ( TAS) and EACS in order to share vital feedback regarding client attendance at community appointments following release from custody.


171. Addressing the needs of chaotic drug users who stay for short periods in custody (less than 31 days) remains a key challenge. Delivery of care is also constrained by overcrowding and frequent prisoner movements between prisons. Short stay prisoners currently receive health care support in terms of detoxification or substitute prescribing; harm reduction awareness seminars; and can access Throughcare Addiction Services ( TAS) or Voluntary Throughcare assistance. But the short length of their stay means that there is not enough time to provide support to address their wider needs. SPS will review this issue further following the report from the Independent Prisons Commission in June 2008, which is considering, as part of its deliberations on the purpose and impact of imprisonment in contemporary Scotland, the replacement of short sentences with community disposals.

Case Study

Prisoner A

Admitted to HMP Edinburgh 2 April 2007

Liberated 16 November 2007

This prisoner was a frequent re-offender with 4 short admissions to custody in the previous 15 months. The shortest of these sentences was for less than a month, the longest his last sentence, where he served 7½ months. He had spent only 3 months of the past 15 in the community with his last 3 sentences having only a few days between them.

He was already known to the Enhanced Addiction Casework Service ( EACS) on admission to prison as he had been working closely with them and the Addiction Nurse Team during his previous sentence. His EACS worker had referred him to the nursing team for assessment for substitute treatment and with the support of the local Community Drug Problem Service, who agreed to continue his prescription on his release, was successfully initiated onto methadone treatment.

Prisoner A also had the opportunity, since he was serving a slightly longer sentence, to attend a Cognitive Skills group work programme to start to address his offending behaviour as well as a group to help with his drug use and lower his risk of relapse.

He had received ongoing one-to-one motivational support throughout his times in custody and there has been good continuity across sentences not only between prison and community services, but also between different services provided within prison from one sentence to the next.

Prisoner A had the opportunity to link with the Throughcare Addiction Service ( TAS), towards the end of his last sentence. TAS provided key links with housing services prior to release to ensure he had a more suitable accommodation, once liberated.

To date, Prisoner A has not returned to custody.


172. The SPS will publish a new Substance Misuse Strategy in autumn 2008 which will set out in more detail our plans to ensure the integration of health services and, with ADATs, wider 'wraparound' support to provide a consistent package of care and the governance frameworks and clear lines of accountability to measure and deliver success.

173. The SPS will continue to provide and develop interventions to reduce immediate environmental and individual harm as a result of drug use with the intention of reducing the prevalence and transmission of blood borne viruses. Prisons can offer a route into treatment for vulnerable and hard to reach prisoners and those not usually engaged with drug treatment services.

174. The Scottish Government is reviewing the feasibility of a potential transfer of primary healthcare to the NHS. In the meantime SPS and NHS are working together to achieve closer integration of services.


175. The Chapter focussed on maximising the contribution of the police, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, the Courts and Scottish Prison Service by continued activity to disrupt supply, strengthen the measures to recovering assets from those who deal drugs and build on the success of criminal justice interventions which are not merely punitive but assist in the road to recovery.


Email: Central Enquiries Unit

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