To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of withdrawing Sodexo's prisons contract at HM Prison Northumberland as a result of the reports of mismanagement and understaffing at that prison.
2 March 2017
These are extremely serious allegations which are being urgently investigated. The Justice Secretary has been clear that levels of violence and self-harm in our prisons are too high which is why we are investing an extra £100m annually to boost the frontline by 2,500 officers. Every officer will be responsible for a case load of six offenders, making sure all prisoners get the support needed to quit drugs and get the education and training that will help turn their lives around.
These are long-standing issues which will not be resolved in weeks or months but we are determined to make our prisons places of safety and reform.
We have robust processes in place to closely monitor and manage private contractors and will not hesitate to take action when standards fall short.