EXCLUSIVE: Prison BANS all greetings cards unless they are from Funky Pigeon or Moon Pig to stop inmates receiving mail soaked in zombie drug SPICE
- HMP The Mount took the decision after a rising number of smuggling cases
- Homemade cards and pictures were being soaked in Spice then sent into jail
- Governor Paul Crossey told families he was ‘increasingly concerned with threat’
An all-men prison has banned all greetings cards and photographs from being posted in unless they are from approved suppliers – after deliveries of mail doused in zombie drug spice.
HMP The Mount – which is in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire – says it will implement the hardline rules on June 20.
After that date the 1,001-population male category C jail can only receive cards from online shops Moon Pig or Funky Pigeon.
And any photographs can only be mailed in from FreePrints, with any directly from family put into storage.
The change has been savaged by a group representing families who have a relative in prison, describing it as ‘disgustingly cruel’.
But Governor Paul Crossey sent out the letter outlining the changes to families and published it on the jail’s official Twitter feed.
He said: ‘HMP The Mount is committed towards providing a safe and secure environment for both the men in our case and the staff that work within.
‘We have become increasingly concerned with the threat presented by Psychoactive substances.
‘Such substances represent a significant health, safety and stability risk to both the working and living environment.
HMP The Mount – which is in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire -is a 1,001-population category C jail
Governor Paul Crossey told families he was ‘increasingly concerned with threat’ in letter
‘We have, after much deliberation concluded that as of Monday June 20, 2022, cards and photographs will only be accepted from trusted sources.
‘All cards must be sent via Funky Pigeon and/ or Moon Pig: cards sent directly from family/ friends will be placed in stored property.
‘Photographs must only be sent from FreePrints: those sent directly from family/ friends will be placed in stored property.
‘All other incoming post will continue to be photocopied with the exception of Legal correspondence which will be subject to Rapiscan testing prior to issue.
Governor Crossey said the jail was committed towards providing safe and secure environment
‘This will allow you to maintain positive contact with your family, share important events while keeping us safe.’
The rule changes are in direct response to prisoners receiving Spice laced letters from the outside world.
Papers are soaked in the LSD-style drug before they are dried and written on and posted in.
Our Empty Chair, which represents families who have someone behind bars, said it was not in favour of the changes.
It tweeted: ‘Handwritten cards, letters and drawings are genuinely life lines to people inside.
‘This is disgustingly cruel – particularly in light of prolonged periods of no visits and limited, costly phone contact as a result of the pandemic. We urge HMP The Mount to reconsider.’
in 2017 an independent report into conditions at HMP Wealstun in West Yorkshire found letters were being smuggled in after being sprayed with psychoactive substances like the synthetic cannabis Spice.
Prison officers have been forced to photocopy the them before giving them to inmates, which has caused a separate row that legal letters should only be opened by the addressee.
Dr George Ryan of Public Health England has previously said the highly-addictive substance is responsible for turning high streets into ‘zombie zones’ and was easily accessible to prisoners.
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