Labour pledges jails drug crackdown
Prison visitors will face random drug searches in a bid to crack down on the "hundreds of kilos of heroin" being brought into jails every year, Labour has pledged.
Party leader Iain Gray said it would take hundreds of kilos to feed the demand of the 1,260 heroin users in jails, yet the Scottish Prison Service only reported 1,705 drug finds in 2009.
He said: "We cannot allow our prisons to continue to be infested by drugs in the way that they are today."
He continued: "Labour will ensure that anyone caught bringing drugs to prison will be barred from visiting and reported to the police. We also need to see tougher searches of all those who enter prisons - with no-one excluded.
"We need increased random searches with drug sniffer dogs used. Prison should be the last place in our society that it is possible to buy drugs.
"We know that criminals are devious when it comes to getting drugs inside jail but the scale of the problem needs tough action.
"There are over 1,200 prisoners on heroin inside prison every day. That's 1,200 addicts looking for a fix every day. The sheer volume of illegal substances washing around our prisons means that we need a Government ready to act to clean up our jails."
Labour said the latest official statistics show that 22% of inmates admit using illegal drugs in prison.
With a prison population of almost 8,200, this would indicate that more than 1,800 Scottish prisoners are taking drugs on a regular basis.
Some 70% of inmates taking drugs are using heroin in prison, with 17% using cocaine.