Prison Visitor Jailed for Smuggling Drugs into HMP Berwyn

A woman has been jailed after she was caught smuggling drugs worth thousands of pounds into HMP Berwyn, the largest prison in England and Wales and the 2nd largest in Europe. 

Berwyn prison opened in February 2017 and is a  smoke-free closed rehabilitation establishment which holds 2,106 category C men.  

The woman was intercepted by prison guards after they noticed her “walking in an awkward manner”. She was strip-searched, and a sausage-shaped package fell from her vaginal area. The package was found to contain 23 Buprenorphine tablets – with a prison value of £2300 and 95.8 grams of cannabis – with a prison value of  £7000 to £12,000.

Donna Cluskey, 48 was jailed for 13 months.  She admitted to being paid £100 to smuggle in the drugs.

Cluskey had previously received a 28-month prison sentence for attempting to smuggle heroin and cocaine into HMP Kennet and in 2008, she served a 42-month sentence for conspiring to deal class A drugs.

In 2018 another woman Chelsea Bennion was jailed for smuggling drugs into the same prison, HMP Berwyn.

The drugs, 99 buprenorphine tablets, worth £50 each inside prison, were smuggled inside 2 ‘Kinder Eggs’

She too was not new to drug offenses, at the time of her arrest, she was on post-sentence supervision after being released from prison for supplying cannabis.

In July 2019 HM Inspectorate of Prisons released their report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Berwyn;  There were many positives, but the availability of drugs in the prison were highlighted as one of the negative aspects of the prison that needed addressing. ” Drugs were too readily available. In our survey, 48% of prisoners said that drugs were easy to get. A substantial number of health emergencies were related to psychoactive substances, 5 and one death in custody had been attributed to their use. The prison had taken a wide range of actions to address drug supply and demand, and there was evidence that drug availability was reducing. The number of drug finds had declined, and in the year to the inspection, the mandatory drug testing positive rate had reduced to 21.49%, although this was high for the type of prison. The substance use strategy was weak and not supported by a plan to coordinate, drive and measure the effectiveness of actions taken.