The Government has published a Statutory Instrument (SI 2017 No. 576, in force 12th May 2017) that empowers the Secretary of State (under new rule 46A of the Prison Rules 1999) to direct that certain prisoners be held in “separation centres” on the grounds of “national security, preventing terrorism offences, preventing the dissemination of views that might encourage such offences, and preventing the use of particular views or beliefs to undermine good order and discipline.” [Explanatory Note]
See “Legal Developments 2017” for the cases of R v Poraj; and R v Johnson. The latter case is important in relation to the issue of whether a person who carries, or conveys, an article into prison (in the absence of authority to do so) must know that the article is ‘prohibited’ albeit that it need not be proved that he/she knew precisely what the article was. Practitioners should be careful about using the colloquialism “Spice”. There is no such drug in science or in law called “Spice”. It is used to refer to certain synthetic cannabinoids of which there are a good many. Some are controlled under the MDA 1971 and some are not. They may, or may not be, “psychoactive” for the purposes of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.