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Reaction to New Prison and Probation Service

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Secretary of State has announced a new organisation  - Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service - to replace the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) as the Executive Agency responsible for delivering prison and probation services across England and Wales. [1]

Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer for prisons said:

"This Government prefers to tinker with structures rather than deal with the true problems affecting UK prisons.

"Prisons are not fit for purpose. They are overcrowded, in a state of poor repair, and a danger to both prisoners and staff alike.

"The prisons suffer from poor levels of staffing, not just of prison officers, but also of ancillary staff.

"The situation is even worse in those prisons where maintenance is rune by private contractors (Amey plc and Carillion plc) where our members are often put in positions that compromise their safety because of poor staffing levels.

"The rising levels of suicide and violence also impacts on our members as it is often they who have to clean up the mess left as a result of a prisoner hanging him or herself, slashing their wrists or dying from a drug overdose.

"Our members in prisons and on the contractors have also had to cope with pay falling in real terms because of the governments absurd pay cap.

"Rather than tinkering with structures the Government should deal with the real problems - too many inmates, too few staff, not enough pay."

ENDS

Notes to editors

GMB represents many civilians working in UK prisons in ancillary occupations both in the public and private sector and is currently campaigning for the Government to list the 1% cap on public sector pay rises.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/justice-secretary-launches-new-prison-and-probation-service-to-reform-offenders
 

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