Community has called on the government to stop chasing quick headlines and to take wide-ranging action to tackle the ‘overcrowding crisis’ in prisons. This follows the Justice Secretary’s announcements this week on increasing the number of foreign criminals who can be deported before the end of their prison sentences.
Adrian Axtell, Community Union’s National Officer for the justice sector, said:
“We need an overhaul of the justice system to tackle overcrowding in prisons and keep staff safe. The government have tried to pursue a quick headline this week to deflect from their own failures over the last 13 years – a period in which the removal of foreign offenders has fallen by around 40%, and ministers have failed to meet their own pledges on new prison places.
“The overcrowding crisis in prisons has been allowed to escalate on the watch of successive Tory Justice Secretaries, but it’s justice workers on the frontline who are paying the price. We need investment in our prison estate now – not years from now – increased staffing levels, and action on bringing down the huge backlogs in the courts.”
Community is the union for justice and custodial sector workers, representing thousands of members whose work is vital to our justice system and to public safety. Our members work for a range of organisations in the sector. We represent workers at private prisons, secure immigration centres, young offender institutions, courts, in prisoner escorting and much more. We are a modern trade union, campaigning for a better working world.