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 96 31 Oct 2014

Latest prison statistics are proof that the prison service is in crisis

The Prison Officers Association (POA) believe that the latest data on self-harm, assaults and deaths in custody provide clear unequivocal proof that the prison system in England and Wales is in an ever deepening crisis.

The statistics show that, twelve months to September 2014, 87 individuals took their own lives whilst in prison. Alongside these frightening figures, the Ministry of Justice statistics show that self-harm within the male prison population continues to rise, up by 75% in the last 10 years. Though there has been a welcome fall in the number of females self-harming.

Of greatest concern to the POA is the increases in assaults. Assault incidents have increased by 10% in the last twelve months, which equates to an average of 42 assaults in prisons every day of the year. Assaults on staff increased by 12% with serious assaults on staff up by a staggering 32%.

The POA place the blame for these increases squarely at the feet of Government. It is their dogma driven policies that are putting staff, prisoners and the public in ever greater danger.

Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the POA today said:

“The POA, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, the Howard League and the Prison Reform Trust and many others have all been telling Government about the dangers that the Prison Service is facing. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State, his Ministers and Senior Civil Servants at the Ministry of Justice refuse to see what is right in front of them.”
“The Treasury imposed cuts that have been forced on the National Offender Management Service are putting lives at risk. Government have to realise that you can only cut staffing in prisons so far. This Governments cuts have gone way beyond.” 

“I truly fear for the future. The Prison Service is being run with fewer and fewer staff, working more and more hours in increasingly dangerous and violent establishments. Whether it is this Government or the next, they have to wake up to the fact that prisons need to be properly resourced, staffed and supported if we are to have any hope of reducing reoffending.”




For further information contact:

POA Press Office                                                                                        020 8803 0255 Option 7