Steep rise in prison officers smuggling drugs into jails

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Hundreds of staff have been sacked or disciplined for passing contraband, including weapons and mobile phones, to inmates, according to Ministry of Justice figures

Hundreds of prison officers have been sacked for smuggling drugs, weapons and mobile phones into jails, the Observer has learned.

The number of staff found taking contraband into prisons in England and Wales has risen by 57% in the past six years, according to ministry of justice (MoJ) figures obtained through a freedom of information request, with 341 either dismissed, excluded, convicted or cautioned by police. In 2017, there were 71 cases of staff smuggling compared with 45 in 2012.

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