Jail has team of hooch hounds trained to sniff out illegal booze made by lags

A nick has a team of “hooch hounds” trained to sniff out illegal booze made by lags.

The brew dogs have been tasked with finding hordes of moonshine after a drop in drugs and psychoactive substances getting into a prison.

The hooch pooches work at HMP Stocken in rural Rutland.

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A report into conditions at the nick also revealed that cons have moaned that the governor has reduced supplies of fresh fruit as it is used to create booze.

And lags at another nick have been banned from buying sugar to stop them brewing homemade hooch.

Before the ban, they could order granulated white and demerara sugar from a canteen list to sweeten brews in their cells.

But bosses at Channings Wood jail in Devon found it was being used to make moonshine.

Cons mix sugar with fruit and bread to ferment illicit stashes of super-strength booze.

Stocken’s Independent Monitoring Board revealed: “One corollary of the success in minimising the availability of PS is a massive rise in the brewing of alcohol (“hooch”).

“Fortunately, this is relatively easy to detect since the associated odours are hard to conceal. Hooch dogs are deployed alongside cell searches and substantial quantities are often discovered.

“To discourage this further, the Governor has reduced the availability of the raw materials for the brewing of hooch, in particular fruit.

  • Prison officer wore 'tight trousers leaving little to imagination during lag affair'

“Some prisoners have complained that they no longer get fruit automatically, but have to request it and only one piece per day. The Board can see both sides of this problem.”

The IMB also revealed that the price of drugs had gone through the roof at the nick – making it a tempting trade for criminal gangs.

And the study added: “The strangling of the supply of drugs has massively driven up their price. This incentivises Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) to target prisons, since they make far, far more profit from supplying prisoners than users in the outside community.

“This has encouraged OCGs to try to infiltrate prisons, through corrupt staff or (mainly) transfers from remand prisons, with consequent debt problems – not for the users themselves always, but often for their families who are apparently subjected to threats of violence if payment is not forthcoming.”

And the IMB at Channings Wood wrote: “Illicit alcohol (hooch) was found to be present within the establishment for periods of the year and this has resulted in the intermittent removal of sugar from the canteen since June.

“Sugar remains unavailable on canteen sheets at the time of this report. The lack of sugar or the provision of a workable alternative to supply it to prisoners is raised frequently at wing representatives’ meetings, although most men understand the rationale for the measure.”

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