The Community trade union is calling for additional funding for private prisons in England and Wales. In May, Justice Secretary, Michael Gove MP, announced an extra £10m of funding for prisons to tackle rising levels of violence and deaths in custody. In a letter last week to Bob Neill MP, the chair of the Commons Justice Committee, the Justice Secretary detailed the funding distribution, which confirmed that none of the £10m will go to the private prison estate.
Adrian Axtell, National Officer for Community, said:
“No additional funding was allocated to any private prison despite them facing the same increases in violence and safety risks as the public sector estate. Our members at Serco and Sodexo are on the frontline of public service striving to ensure public and prisoner safety and to rehabilitate offenders. Yet the rise in violence in prisons doesn’t distinguish between the public and private sectors and that’s why we are calling on the government to make additional funds available to private prisons too. This shouldn’t just be about prisons either as we have concerns for our members in prisoner escort services and offender monitoring.
“Community is campaigning for a safer justice sector. That’s why we’re calling on the government to adopt our Safe Operating Solutions charter which sets out minimum standards, which would ensure the safety of both staff and prisoners. With each passing week more justice staff are assaulted, we need government action now to make a safer justice sector.”
Community’s call comes in the week it was revealed that prison officers in a number of public sector establishments had staged walkouts over safety concerns.
Further information: Matt Ball 07799 772250