The Government has said that over 2,000 prison officers have been recruited following a campaign to encourage more people to enter the profession. The announcement comes after prison officer trade unions have expressed concern about the number of attacks on staff in prisons, and have called for increases in staffing.
There were 17,955 prison officers in December 2017, which is an increase of 1,970 officers since October 2016. Officers are also being given additional training in suicide and self-harm in an effort to reduce the number of incidents involving prisoners.
David Gauke, the Secretary of State for Justice, said in a statement:
“I want to commend our hard-working prison officers who do a vital job in protecting the public every day, often in very challenging, difficult and dangerous circumstances. These figures show we are on target to recruit 2,500 additional prison officers.
I am determined to tackle the issues in our prisons head on and I am committed to getting the basics right so we can focus on making them safe and decent places to support rehabilitation. Staffing is the golden thread that links the solutions we need to put in place to drive improvement, so I am delighted our recruitment efforts are working”.