Decrease in prison staff poses a problem

NEWS: News.

NEWS: News.

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The East Midlands has seen the highest percentage decrease in frontline prison staff over the last year - this is in the face of some of the highest levels of violence, suicide and self-injury since records began.

Statistics seen by the Howard League for Penal Reform show there were 1,351 frontline officers (full time equivalent) in public sector prisons in the East Midlands in June 2016, down from 1,470 a year earlier. This represents an eight per cent reduction in the number of staff - the highest in the country.

Across England and Wales, the number of officers has fallen from 15,110 to 14,689. This leaves prisons with barely more frontline staff than the lows of 2014, which prompted the Ministry of Justice to embark on a major recruitment exercise.