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Prison Officers

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 5069, tabled on 24 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of prison officers.

Answered on

30 October 2019

Our hard-working officers play a crucial role in keeping prisons safe and transforming offenders’ lives, and ultimately make sure the public is protected.

We recognise the need to recruit and retain staff to keep our prisons secure. We have invested significantly in increase staff numbers, recruiting an additional 4,366 (full time equivalent) prison officers between October 2016 and June 2019, surpassing our original target of 2,500. We will continue to recruit officers to ensure prisons are safe and decent.

We’re giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100m to bolster security, in addition to £70 million announced previously, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.