Monday, 20 February 2017

Prison Officers To Receive Pay Rises Of £5,000 To Work In Britain’s Toughest Jails

prison service

Prison officers will be offered pay hikes of up to £5,000 to persuade them to work in Britain’s toughest jails.

And new recruits will get starting salaries increased by the same amount in a bid to halt the chaos behind bars.

Justice Secretary Liz Truss has been stung by criticism that a shortage of staff has left jails facing “carnage and bloodbaths”.

So today she will announce a £12million package which will give staff in 31 of the worst prisons immediate pay increases.

New recruits will also be offered a starting salary of £29,500 - £5,000 more than previously. Pay in London will be £500 more.

Ms Truss said: “Hard-working, dedicated staff are key to our reform agenda.

“It’s right we offer them greater support as we move closer to transforming prisons into places of safety.”

Ms Truss is also to introduce special training programmes for staff to deal with self-harm and suicides.

And prison governors will also be allowed to hire recruits locally to plug gaps in staffing more quickly.

Among jails to get the new money are HMP Bedford, Pentonville and Lewes.

Last November 200 inmates went on the rampage in Bedford, at London’s Pentonville a prisoner was stabbed to death in October and there was also unrest at a wing of Lewes jail that month.

prison service

Steve Gillan of the Prison Officers Association has warned Ms Truss that underfunding and staff shortages were leading to escalating levels of prison violence and suicides.

He said: “The last thing we want to see is more carnage and bloodbaths.”

Last year assaults on staff jumped 43 per cent over the previous year.

And the number of offenders locked up has almost doubled from 45,000 in 1991 to 85,000 now.

Today ex-prisoner and former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken branded cuts under the Tories "swingeing and unjustified".

Mr Aitken, who was jailed for perjury in 1999, said: "We cut the number of prison officers by very nearly a third - 7,000 prison officers have been made redundant in the last three or four years as a result of government cuts which, in my view, three justice secretaries involved, Ken Clarke, Chris Grayling and Michael Gove, who agreed to these cuts, should never have allowed.

"I don't want to hear from Michael Gove or anyone else ... fairytales about rehabilitation when the crisis is caused by the Treasury and the justice secretaries who made these swingeing and unjustified cuts which have no got to be remedied by introducing new prison officers."



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