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Community calls for more prison staff safety measures

8th April 2020

“This unprecedented challenge requires a response to protect the safety of all…”

Following the tragic deaths of two prison staff from HMP Pentonville from coronavirus, the justice services trade union Community is calling for urgent action from government to improve prison staff safety. In particular, the union, which represents the majority of private sector prison officers, is calling for government to enable prison contractors to change the daily prison regime without fear of financial penalty.

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, said:

“Prison staff play a vital role protecting the public, and during this outbreak they have done their duty at additional risk.

“This unprecedented challenge requires an immediate and unprecedented response to protect the safety of all prison staff and prisoners. Their safety must be the priority.

“Community are calling for adequate personal protective equipment for all staff across the estate and for prisons to continue to monitor the prison regime with local trade union officials, ensuring that safety is the primary consideration in this process.

“Furthermore, those private contractors making changes to their regime in the interests of the safety of prison staff and prisoners should not be subject to financial penalty for doing so.

“We will continue to work to evaluate the situation across the estate and to ensure our members are as safe as possible while doing their frontline jobs keeping the public safe. To do this we have requested regular meetings with the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland QC MP.”


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