'Appalling' prison conditions blamed on drugs and staffing levels

Inmates in many jails are being kept in "appalling" conditions with not enough staff to maintain order, the prisons watchdog has warned.Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons in England and Wales, said the "seeming inability" to keep drugs out of jails has been a major factor in declining safety standards.Mr Clarke said too many prisons still do not have an adequate strategy to tackle the supply of drugs to inmates, while inspectors had seen many prisoners who were "obviously" under the influence of drugs during visits.And he was scathing about young offender institutions, revealing not a single one was deemed safe enough to hold children.