Press Contacts

Mark Fairhurst - National Chair:
Mobile 07968 108284

Steve Gillan – General Secretary:
Mobile 07971 838590

Glyn Travis - Press Officer:
Mobile 07968 324045

POA Press Office:
020 8803 0255 Option 7

POA Press Releases

PR 67 04 Sep 2013

POA Condemn Prison Closures

The POA have condemned the announcement by the Secretary of State for Justice that he intends to close Blundeston, Dorchester, Northallerton and Reading prisons at a time when 20,000 prisoners are being held in an overcrowded prison estate, alongside the unacceptable level of violence and serious assaults.

The POA accuse NOMS and the Ministry of Justice of accepting institutional overcrowding in an attempt to save money at the expense of rehabilitation.

The Service is in crisis, staffing levels and morale across the prison estate are at an all-time low.

Steve Gillan General Secretary of the POA stated;

“Once again the Ministry of Justice has paid lip service to the well-being and stability of the professional men and women working in an overcrowded and violent environment. The POA has worked with this Government in its attempt to save money and stopping wholesale privatisation, but prison closures will do nothing for the morale of prison officers. The Government claim to have around 4,000 space headroom this is only spin and not accurate”.

The POA is further concerned that the effects of prison closures and the prison population, on the back of budget cuts year on year can only lead to dangerous and volatile prison environments.

Peter McParlin National Chairman of the POA went on to say;

“This announcement today is short sighted and will have a significant impact on the public sector prison service. Prison officers and their families will once again face the uncertainty of where they will be working in the future.

The Government prison closure policy is cuts driven and does nothing for the rehabilitation revolution. These prisons have played a pivotal role in the Criminal Justice System and this announcement is an absolute disgrace”.

The POA recognise that a prison closure programme is Government policy but this policy fails to address a prison population that stood at 65,194 in 2000 but is at 85,052 today, whilst the level of operational staff has reduced from 23,943 to 21,312 in the same period.
 

 

End.

 

For further information contact:

POA Press Office                                                                       020 8803 0255 Option 7