Last year it was revealed that of 85 prisoners detained in Jurby Prison, 34 were in custody for drug-related offences and two for known alcohol associated crimes. However, there are a large number of prisoners in custody for assaults and other violence, whose offences are probably drug or alcohol related.
The average annual cost per prisoner to the Manx taxpayer is about £59,000! It's perhaps time we reviewed the drugs and alcohol policy, particularly as the Isle of Man is developing a new Criminal Justice Strategy.
We are indeed fortunate to have Professor David Nutt from Imperial College, London, visit the Island to stimulate debate about a problem that society cannot afford to ignore. His views are respected worldwide and his book "Drugs Without the Hot Air" has been widely acclaimed.
David Nutt was the Chair of the UK government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, famously sacked for writing a paper comparing the harms of ecstasy with those of horse riding, and for publicly criticising the government for ignoring scientific advice by reclassifying Cannabis from Group C to Group B, indicating increased harmfulness.
Professor Nutt is 'Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacolgy' at Imperial College London, and President of the British Neuroscience Association. He is also Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD). A number of his lectures and talks can be viewed on Youtube.
Some of the questions he will address will be:
- How harmful are alcohol and tobacco compared to illegal drugs?
- Does the “War on Drugs” cause more harm than good?
- How does it affect legitimate scientific research into potentially valuable therapies?
- What should you tell your children about drugs, and at what age?
- Does prison or a criminal record do more harm to young people than smoking cannabis?
After the presentation there will be Q & A session so come along and join in!
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