Tuesday, April 12, 2011
All prisoners 'must get drug tests' say the Scottish Tories, same old rhetoric, broken records don’t play well, change the tune or change performers
When it comes to crime, the Scottish Tories have a simple aim, punish, punish and punish.
It is similar to the Labour Party’s ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’.
And they have one thing is common.
Since we are in the middle of an election, the Scottish Conservatives are setting out their stall by playing to the public’s need in some part for revenge.
They see that as a vote winner.
Tories have called for "comprehensive, robust and consistent" drugs testing in prisons.
At present the Scottish Prison Service carries out searches and confiscates any drugs found on prisoners.
So, nothing new there!
The Tories also want drug-free wings to move inmates from substance management to abstinence.
Moving location isn’t an answer.
Deputy leader Murdo Fraser is fronting a package of measures the Tories will bring forward after the election which "will lead to better rehabilitation and a reduction in reoffending".
This is nonsense.
In order for rehabilitation to work, people have to be presented with options that can lead to a better future.
Fraser isn’t doing that.
Does he think that the underclass is simply going to change when they have been denied a future?
You have got to enact measures that are genuine and will give them hope.
Where is that?
"So much crime in Scotland is fuelled by drugs. We know that for every £1 spent on drug rehabilitation; almost £10 is saved in policing, court, healthcare and other social costs. "Scottish Conservatives worked relentlessly to create a new national drugs strategy, based on recovery and leading to abstinence. We also want tougher measures to crack down on drug abuse in our jails but at the moment this is not happening."
This isn’t about helping anyone!
In making their pitch, the Tories revealed a 37% rise in the number of prisoners being prescribed methadone.
Does he recognise why some people can’t face the future?
The answer is no because he doesn’t listen or think outside his comfort zone.
"Whilst some people might say it is a positive step that these prisoners are being taken off heroin and on to methadone, only 20% of them are moving towards abstinence”.
"Scottish Conservatives want all prisoners to be subjected to a drugs test upon their arrival in jail and subject to random drug testing thereafter. This testing must be comprehensive, robust and consistent”.
"In addition to the screening of all visitors, we also want drug-free wings in every institution where prisoners who want to come off drugs can be removed from the availability and the temptation of drugs. In prison and outside, we will institute a national review on the implementation of the national drugs strategy”.
"It is common sense to pursue these measures because they would mean lower re-offending, less crime and a safer prison environment. It will be good for addicts, good for their families and good for society as a whole."
I read this line by line and unsurprisingly there is nothing in it for people at the bottom end of society.
And remember ever national drugs strategy has failed because they failed to produce an encompassing strategy right across the board.
Say old Tories, same old policy, same old failure.
No future means no future!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University