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Prisons and Courts Bill

Prison governors are to be held to account for getting offenders off drugs, into jobs and learning English and maths under new powers to be detailed in the justice secretary’s flagship legislation to tackle the prison crisis.

The legislation will also increase external scrutiny by giving new powers to the chief inspector of prisons, including making judgments about the quality of prison leadership.

The legislation includes measures to cut off illegal mobile phones being used inside jails and add psychoactive substances – formerly known as legal highs – to existing compulsory drug-testing powers.

MP Liz Truss said: “Prison is about punishing people who have committed heinous crimes, but it should be a place where offenders are given the opportunity to turn their lives around. I want our prisons to be places of discipline, hard work and self-improvement, where staff are empowered to get people off drugs, improve their English and maths get a job on release."