Retain prison officers with fair pay and numbers to make jails safe again
2,500 staff will not be recruited and retained working every other weekend in extremely violent and stressful conditions for a salary of c. 22k. Cuts of 9,500 prison staff over the last 5 yrs have lead to demoralised and inexperienced officers who are overstretched to the extent they cannot engage with prisoners, cannot give them their basic entitlements, let alone constructive activity, and will continue to mean many more serious assaults, deaths and escapes, and very little rehabilitation. Only 400 of the 1400 recruits on the last major recruitment drive- on the new and current low starting pay- have not already left. Numbers need to be restored to 1:25 staff:prisoner ratios to ensure a safe and productive environment for both prisoners and staff. Starting salaries need to be 27k reflect the huge demands of the job and the interpersonal skills required.
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