Cash for Prisoners Starved of Drugs; EXCLUSIVE 'Cold Turkey' Consent Not Given

Article excerpt

Byline: BY ROB MERRICK Political Correspondent

DRUG-addicted prisoners forced to go "cold turkey" at Liverpool's jails were awarded pounds 57,000 in a fresh compensation controversy, the Daily Post can reveal.

Fifteen inmates won pay-outs following a test case that found they were eligible if they did not consent to having their drugs supply cut off.

They include nine at Liverpool Prison, in Walton, where compensation totalled pounds 34,264, and six at Altcourse in Fazakerley, where pounds 22,843 was paid out.

A further pounds 11,421 was awarded to three prisoners at Styal Prison, in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and two inmates at Risley, in Warrington, won pounds 7,614.

The payouts - which were condemned by the Conservatives - follow last year's revelation that a suicidal Liverpool prisoner received a pounds 2.8m out-of-court settlement.

The case, following a failed suicide attempt which left the prisoner requiring long-term medical care, also ran up a bill of more than pounds 1m in legal costs.

Now pressure has forced the Ministry of Justice to reveal more categories under which prisoners are compensated, including opiate dependent prisoner litigation (ODPL).

In November 2006, a High Court judge approved damages where heroin and other opiates were withdrawn, after ruling it amounted to an assault and breach of human rights.

Many of the prisoners were receiving methadone treatment before they entered prison, but were forced to undergo "short, sharp detoxification" on the inside. …