Prisoners smoke bits of dressing gowns soaked in Spice and smuggled into jail to get high

David Harding
Contributor
Leeds Prison (PA)

Prisoners have been smoking dressing gowns soaked in the drug Spice to get high.

The inmates have taken to using the drastic measure to get round tightened prison security.

The psychoactive substance has been blamed for rising violence behind bars after being widely smuggled into jails.

“They have been soaking clothes in drugs and then either smoking bits of cut-up clothing or then using the kettles, boiling the drugs out and impregnating them back on to paper,” Steve Robson, the governor of Leeds prison, told the BBC.

“About four of five months ago we had a dressing gown doing the rounds where we found lots of bits of dressing gown that we tested that came back very high for new psychoactive substances.”

It comes after the prison installed an ‘X-ray’ body scanner to detect drugs, as part of a £10 million government pledge to reduce drug-fuelled violence in the most affected prisons in the UK.

As well as Leeds, the worst-affected prisons are Hull, Humber, Isis, Lindholme, Moorland, Nottingham, Ranby, Wealstun and Wormwood Scrubs.

Earlier this week, a former Leeds prison officer was sent to prison for eight months after being caught trying to smuggle drugs into a jail.

Jade Hicks, 35, previously worked at Leeds, then kept in contact with a prisoner after she finished working at the jail.

Former Leeds prison officer Jade Hicks (South Yorkshire Police)

She was subsequently spotted passing drugs to an inmate at Doncaster prison.

Det Insp Steve Smith of Doncaster CID said: “We work very closely with the prisons in Doncaster to set a zero-tolerance stance to any individual who chooses to convey prohibited items.

“These items are dangerous and we hope court cases like this send a strong message to anyone thinking about trying to get banned items into a prison.”