Former prison officer admits to drugs charges

A view of Parc Prison
The former officer was arrested in the prison car park in February 2022 [BBC]

A former prison officer at HMP Parc in Bridgend has admitted to a number of drugs-related charges, including misconduct while acting as a public officer, South Wales Police said.

Jodie Lee Beer, 30, of Llanharry, Rhondda Cynon Taf, also admitted to possession of class A and class C drugs, and possession with intent to supply.

She was arrested in the prison car park in February 2022, when she was found to be in possession of concealed drugs, SWP said.

Nine people have died at the jail since the start of February, with at least four linked to substance misuse.

Beer, who has resigned from her role at the prison, admitted to the charges at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday, with sentencing due to take place in August.

“The overwhelming majority of prison staff carry out their duties to the highest standards, and the action of the minority who engage in illicit behaviour should not detract from the efforts and dedication of the former,” said Det Insp Jason Meadows, from Tarian, the south Wales organised crime unit that led the investigation.

“We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who engage in criminal activities and threaten the security of our prisons."

A spokesperson for the prison said the case sends a “strong message” to those attempting to bring “contraband into Parc”.

"The vast majority of our staff are honest and hard-working and we expect the highest standards of conduct from them,” the spokesperson said.

Drugs issues at the prison have been raised in the UK parliament, with one MP calling for the UK government to take over running of the prison, while another called for staffing and vetting to be increased.

Opened in November 1997, HMP Parc is a category B local prison holding convicted male adult and young offenders and convicted and remand sex offenders.

At the time of an inspection in 2019 it held 1,612 prisoners, making it one of the largest prisons in the UK.