Submission to the Justice Committee inquiry on the prison operational workforce
6 January 2023
“Prisons policy in England and Wales has become all about managing volume, primarily in the need to meet a rapidly increasing demand on prison places, and therefore a prison population projected to reach record highs.
“This is mirrored in the challenge around staffing, which is simply to get enough boots on the ground to operate an expanding prison estate in a minimally secure way – with positive regimes and rehabilitation an increasingly distant aspiration.
“It is difficult to see how the role of the prison officer can positively develop, at a time when not only is the system being expanded at a cost of £3.75bn, but the authorities cannot even properly staff the prisons they already have.
“That is one important reason why the current course of direction must change.”