Illegal alcohol distilleries are among a range of remarkable items which have been confiscated from prisoners at two different jails.
One was discovered at a jail complex near Wolverhampton where Featherstone jail and Brinsford young offenders’ institution are located. Another alcohol "still" was found at Gloucester prison.
Other goods found during cell searches at Featherstone and Brinsford between August 2005 and July this year included a set of dreadlocks, tattooing equipment and 11 items of pornography. There were also 11 knives, nine games consoles and six mobile telephones or SIM cards.
Bizarre items confiscated by officers in cell searches included a broom, a pair of curtains, a home-made pelmet, an earring, "excess furniture", a pair of flip-flops, a toaster and an inexplicable item described as "toothpaste tube urine".
Officers at Gloucester also confiscated cans of lager as well as a mobile phone, a syringe and some cans of cola. The lists of contraband uncovered at the jails were released after an application under the Freedom of Information Act,
A Prison Service spokesman said: "Any prisoner found to be in possession of alcohol may be required to take an alcohol test. If they subsequently test positive for alcohol, they may be charged with two separate offences – one for unauthorised possession and the other for consuming alcohol – and given two punishments."
He added: "The Prison Service is committed to keeping the public and prisoners safe, and security is paramount in maintaining good order and discipline. Prisons carry out regular and rigorous searches on prisoners and their cells and communal areas. Security procedures are kept under constant review and action taken where necessary."