Community, the justice sector union, has welcomed calls from the Prison Governors Association for an independent public inquiry into the state of prisons in England and Wales. With the latest figures showing that assaults on prison staff are on the rise, such an inquiry should explore all ways in which prisons can be safer for staff and prisoners alike.
Community, which represents thousands of workers in the justice and custodial sector is campaigning for government and private contractors to implement a new set of minimum safety standards. Community’s ‘Safe Operating Solutions’ Charter has been praised by front line staff, politicians and justice service providers.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
“We welcome this call by the Prison Governors Association and we are pleased the Ministry of Justice is waking up to the fact that front line staff are working in highly dangerous environments. However, the government must ensure that action is taken across the whole sector, in both public and private workplaces. In the midst of a safety crisis, it is the sector itself leading the way on finding solutions. The government should listen to the PGA, establish an inquiry, and work with Community’s ‘Safe Operating Solutions’ Charter which outlines immediate measures that can be taken at every level.”