Deaths in UK jails hit record highs

UK Prison Officers Association has warned that vulnerable prisoners face fatal risk due to deep prison funding cuts.

According to the association, the deep spending cuts to prison funding have already left prisons badly understaffed.

Not much can be done to divert people with mental health problems away from prison, said Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association.

“We’ve been saying for some time that there has been a large increase in deaths in custody and we put it down to a lack of resources, a lack of training,” Gillan said.

“Prisoners who have mental health issues are not being diverted from prison and we don’t have adequate resources or training. Bear in mind there are 7,000 fewer prison officers now than there were in 2010 due to budget cuts and a record number of prisoners…Due to a lack of budget, not enough prison officers spend time talking to prisoners and seeing the signs that they are stressed. We used to pride ourselves on the fact that we were able to talk prisoners out of self-harm,” he added.

 

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