British prison inmates riot over methadone

By chillinwill · Jan 26, 2010 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    MORE than a hundred inmates trashed a British prison and badly injured a guard with a pool cue during a violent riot.

    The Sun reported the gang of prisoners went on the rampage at privately-run Addiewell jail in Scotland at 7:30pm GMT Monday night, after being refused methadone by staff.

    Prisoners were said to be setting fire to pool tables and trying to reach the jail's roof.

    One inmate, speaking from inside the jail on an illegal cell phone during the riot, said: "It's bedlam, the whole place is in uproar.

    "The cons (prisoners) have kicked off really badly. They've barricaded themselves into the wings with pool tables.

    "One warder got hit over the head with a pool cue. He looked to be in a pretty bad way. I saw him getting dragged away by his pals - then they just abandoned the wing to the rioters."

    The source said the trouble started shortly after dinner, when inmates were refused heroin substitute methadone.

    "Everyone queues up for their medicine. Usually that means methadone," he said.

    "It seems like there was a shortage of doctors, and the medicine wasn't being given out. That was it as far as the lads (men) were concerned, they weren't having it and stuff started flying about.

    "There's always a staff shortage of some sort in here and the guards just couldn't cope."

    Another prisoner said the damage caused by the riot may run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    "The place has been done in. There is water flooding everywhere," he said.

    "An officer tried to get in with a shield and riot gear but he was beaten back and lost the bat and shield."

    A Scottish Ambulance service spokesman said, "We can confirm we were in attendance at an incident at Addiewell prison and one male has been taken to hospital. We don't have any information on his condition at this time."

    Addiewell, a 750-prisoner facility which has en-suite cells with flat screen TVs, has been named Scotland's most violent adult jail.

    Last October a mob of up to 30 inmates rioted and battered staff with mops. They barricaded themselves in a hall in a five-hour stand-off and posed for cell phone photos.

    In August a warder was rushed to hospital after being assaulted by a convicted murderer at the jail, owned by private firm Kalyx.

    By Nick Sharpe and Kenny Angove
    January 26, 2010
    Perth Now

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  1. livleaux
    OK....methadone withdrawals can be deadly and intensely painful-worse than heroin withdrawals-BUT the withdrawals shouldnt become too painful until more than 24 hours after last dose....i would be easier to empathize with the inmates if they had been "deprived" for a longer period of time, but I can't help being amazed with the stupidity of the inmates-why would anyone want to risk going longer without the drug? If methadone (or any detox medication for that matter) was allowed in the jails i have visited, and they missed a day and threw a group temper tantrum like this one, nobody would be getting ANYTHING-sounds like some of these guys should transfer from that resort of a prison to, say, the Livingston parish jail in Livingston, Louisiana.....where Martin Luther King Day is referred to as "public relations day" One of my clients experienced a methadone withdrawal induced seizure while incarcerated there....u kno what HE got? The sociopathic inbred guards proceeded to laugh hysterically at "that dopehead" and urinated and spat on him as he was having the seizure. Providing him with help would NOT have been allowed, much less considered! MAN, if they pulled something like that, a tazer party with rubber bullets, beating weapons, and live ammo would have ensued low staffed or not! UN FRIKKIN BELIEVABLE!
  2. I<3Salvia
    Not to be a smartass but it seems that the point may be forgotten that these people who rioted are jailbird addicts. This means they're probably lower socio-economic status (not as much education), used to being in trouble, and not thinking straight because they're addicted to meds they're not getting. That sounds like a recipe for disaster to swim.
  3. pinksox
    Perhaps instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the damage they should not replace all the "extras" like pools tables, and flat screen televisions and whatever else non-essentials that got trashed. Last SWIM checked, prison wasn't supposed to be "homey" or "comfortable."

    Part of learning accountability should be having to do without what you, yourself, destroyed.

    SWIM's pretty damn liberal generally, but even she thinks prisons have gotten too soft. They're damn lucky to be getting methadone replacement therapy in prison at all. Most often US prisoners are left on their own to do the turkey...while the State pays for some other idiot to have laser hair removal to "ease 'her" mental torment because he got convicted whilst in the midst of gender reassignment...and then there's prisoners that end up dying of aggressive forms of cancer because they can't get specialized care fast enough.

    Sometimes I swear our whole society has gone blooming mad.
  4. g666d
    The longer sentences imposed on the rioters will pay the jail's loss in damages, private jails get paid per inmate don't they?
    And society has been mad since before conception of the word...
    And i think junkies should get maintenance, hell everyone should if maintenance if they want it, and it was pretty poor to deny it. Who knows what went on. Maybe some wanker with am attitude came in and told them they won't get 'done because they don't deserve it because they are dirty criminals who aren't entitled to human consideration, not much more than animals... Dunno.
    And besides, many of the best people swim knows have lifestyle habits which are potentially jailable offences, and victimless too, unlike society's judgements.
  5. pinksox
    Where do you think that money comes from though? Sure, the prisons will recoup their loss...but the expense is being incurred by someone. In the US, that would be on the backs of the taxpayers. Personally, SWIM would say let them do without that which they destroyed.

    If there's an issue is the facility constantly under-staffing to increase it's profit margin, then file a civil suit or complaint with whichever agency oversees that sort of thing there.

    Longer sentences because do bad behavior while incarcerated only ends up causing the taxpayers more money.

    And, SWIM agrees a million percent that prisoners--which in the US are those convicted or Federal crime or those with sentences greater than one year, the rest go to County jails) should have adequate nutrition, healthcare, personal safety, rehabilitation and education programs and those designed to transition inmates back into jobs and would be better served spending more on reintegration and less on recreation and cable television.

    The American prison system is a massive money pit. It's well past time someone actually put programs in place to make them at least self-sufficient, if not turning a profit. That doesn't mean skimping on essential programs, but rather finding new avenues in which they could generate income rather than merely suck up tax dollars.

    Getting rid of over-crowding by changing assinine drug laws would be a decent start as well. Spend that money instead on rehabs, education, and outreach. Eliminate organized crime rings and deliver a better, quality controlled, taxable product.
  6. coolhandluke
    flat screen t.v.s, pools tables, and free methadone? sign swim up!! my buddies who have been to prison in the states say that there is quite a bit of dope on the ins. methadone in there is cheaper than it is on the outside. sounds like some inmates aren't going to be enjoying billiards and the latest in television technology while they are on their methadone , when the riot blows over. when swim was locked up and dope sick he wouldn't tell them he was detoxing. they locked swim in his cell for 3 days because they thought he had a virus and they didn't want swim giving it to the other inmates. swim tried flooding his block by flushing a bunch of clothes down the toilet, but they saw him and shut his water off.
  7. I_8_my yellow crayon
    HAH!, where SWIM went, he got an old ripped up holy bible, a standard jumpsuit, the plastic flipflops, and a nice lil 8x8 cell. There was no smoking, no methadone, and eventually, they took away SWIM's dilaudid prescription, because they made a new law that unless a medicine was neccessary to keep an inmate's heart beating/alive, it wasn't allowed.

    If they have all of that shit then its no wonder they have so much crime.(Though Im sure its not as pretty as the article made it out to be) Where SWIM comes from, people would rather die than go to prison. They will do anything to avoid prison, even if it means murdering the police trying to arrest them. SWIM has only been to county, actually just enjoyed a small 9 day visit back not too long ago.:laugh:

    That al sounds crazy. But in the inmates defense, Methadone withdrawal can be a bitch, and 99% of the time inmates arn't given enough of a dose anyways. Methadone is a very poor drug for treating opiate w/d in terms of dose. If the dose is wrong, then it doesn't work. Without getting into price discussion, anyone on methadone knows what it costs, does SWIY's really think the jail is going to spend that kind of money? SWIY's can bet that there methadone treatment is very different from a clinic's. About 3 years ago when SWIM had his first jail term, they were giving out methadone then, and it didn't matter who you were, or what kind of tolerance you had, standard dose was 30mg's once a day. When SWIM was on Methadone treatment, his dose at the clinic was 185mg's. So obviously what the jail gave him was a miniscule, inefficiant dose. It helped a little though, and was better than nothing. But it wasn't even enough to break through the w/d's.
  8. catseye
    Bearing in mind for those members that aren't from the UK/familiar with the Sun is 'tabloid' style, pretty sensationalist style 'journalism', so who knows how much the story has been exaggerated or downright fabricated...
  9. mickey_bee
    In swim's own experience, where he currently resides,- 'the drug death capital of the UK'-a tabloid label which unsurprisingly the local police, council etc etc. don't want to have.

    So unlike most other towns and cities in the UK, and this is a small city as cities go, methadone/suboxone patients aren't given their daily dose in their local pharmacy, along with 'normal' people buying athlete's foot cream or whatever, but instead, all, and I mean all, have to go to this one prison-like building to receive their medication.

    The facility itself, just like the prison in this article, is ridiculously understaffed, causing an infuriating amount of mess-ups.
    Along with this, as this building provides for almost all those on MMT/Suboxone in the city, it causes a forced integration of people at completely different stages of recovery/relapse. Aside from that, the dealers know that there's one building which has ~1000 state verified junkies walking in and out of it's doors every single day, so where do they set up shop????

    A slight rant there, but to get to swims point, in the clinic he attends, due to the understaffing/poor organisation/whatever, there are often long LONG waits. Which, after being experienced day after day, for years, really can become infuriating. And swim's witnessed many fights start, that wouldn't have had the system been properly efficiently organised.

    Aside with the fact that I'm sure these inmates were in a similar situation of often getting their prescriptions messed up, etc, you've also got to remember, it's a prison.

    This entire riot won't have been purely about the continually late/incorrect dosing of inmates medication. That was merely the spark, just like in any prison riot, there's alot of inmates with alot of built up testosterone, personal vendettas, (general psychological makeup of someone who has been denied freedom) caged up like animals.

    That fire's always there, in every prison, all it takes is a spark to ignite it. And that's what this was.
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