My partner, like many, has a drug problem and even after a stretch on a TC wing, (therapeutic community drug free) he still couldn't, or didn't want to battle his addiction. I thought me and his daughter was enough but we wasn't.
The drugs culture and the money made selling drugs is far more powerful than any professional professing ways on how we can make prisons more effective. As long as there are drugs in prisons and underhanded dealings, both by staff and those outside, i.e. families and friends of prisoners, forget prison reform. You are losing a fighting battle. My partner has a degree and qualifications as long as his arm but he is a drug addict. No further education in prison will benefit him because he is a drug addict.
I have received umpteen letters from him stating that he will come out of prison, clean himself up and get a job. It's never happened and because he foolishly breached his licence, he is back to square one and no doubt scoring drugs in prison to escape his actions.
I think families, probation officers and professionals working inside prisons are working constantly against the tide but the tide will always win. Pete G mentions money and he is spot on. Money and how to make quick easy money is the way of the world. Sadly drug trafficking is one of the biggest money spinners and the Police will even tell you so. There is no end to it and as soon as the Police arrest a dealer, his or hers replacement are waiting just around the corner and the cycle continues.
As for my partner, I am at a loss. I'm not a drug worker and neither is his probation officer. He isn't suitable for work when he is released because he is hooked on drugs so where do we as a family unit go from here? The answer is we don't because there is nothing, and I mean nothing we can do about his addiction. His addiction lies with him and he is clearly not ready to put on the boxing gloves and fight it. Before we even start reforming prisons, we need to reform people.