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Prison officers walk out in protest at working conditions - expert comment

The Prison Officers Association called on its members to walk out of work this morning in protest at ‘unprecedented levels of violence behind bars.’

Professor Azrini Wahidin from the Department of Sociology comments:

"Prisoner on prisoner assaults are up by 11% and assaults on prison staff in 2017 are up by 23%. In terms of actual numbers, 81429 recorded incidents of assaults on staff were recorded.

"A symptom of the failing prison system is that prison officers resigning from their jobs has more than doubled.

"David Gauke (Secretary of State for Justice) is quite right in stating that levels of violence in prisons are far too high. The increasing number of prison riots, prison staff walk-outs indicates the prison system in crisis.

"Surely, it is time to reduce the number we incarcerate by reducing the prison population, invest in a rehabilitative agenda and provide better training for prison officers.

Just under 83,000 people are contained in prisons where over-crowding is a key concern. If we pursue the punitive agenda , we will not only fail those who enter the prison gates but the poor working conditions of prison officers will only get worse."

14 September 2018

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