Statement from Prison Officers Association (POA), Annual Delegate Conference, Galway - Friday 28 April 2017
CONCERN EXPRESSED AT POA CONFERENCE THAT THE PASSIVE EFFECTS OF DRUGS BEING USED BY PRISONERS COULD SHOW POSITIVE ON PRISON OFFICERS DRUG DRIVING TESTS
The issue of the passive effects of drugs being used by prisoners showing positive in prison officers drug drive testing was discussed at the Prison Officers Association Conference in Galway this morning.
Jim Mitchell, Deputy General Secretary of the POA said today, “Our members work in an environment where others use drugs on an ongoing basis and there is concern that the passive effects can show up as a positive in a drug driving test. We passed a motion on this issue today at our conference to the effect that we want immediate discussions with the Irish Prison Service on this issue”
Mitchell continued, “Drug use is part and parcel of prison life for some prisoners, despite our best efforts to deny access at entry points through searches and the use of electronic systems. So in responding to the possibility of flawed drug driving tests on our members, we must face the reality of drug use in our prisons and take some action. The IPS have a responsibility in this and we expect they will enter meaningful discussions in the coming weeks”
We are particularly concerned that not alone are the established drugs being accessed by prisoners but also the new ‘novel psychoactive substances’ are also in use in our prisons.