Commentary from Site Administrator, 13 April, 2017
    It is high time that we move away from this tired old notion that criminals need to be punished. Why should they be punished?
This is an outmoded method of dealing with a person who committed a crime. They should be held in custody, preferably for a short a time as possible, so it doesn't cost too much and if when they are released, they then commit a further crime, well even then they still don't deserve punishment, instead they should be welcomed back into custody, preferably for an even shorter time than previously, so it costs even less than the first time. When released back onto the poor old UK public again, if they commit a further crime again, well - it's to be expected.
The UK have a 'REVOLVING DOOR JUSTICE system,' it's not that good at actually providing justice for the UK public, but it is cheap and that's what counts

select for full details Prisons no longer place for punishment, ministers say
Liz Truss has introduced a new Prison and Courts Bill.
By Christopher Hope 13 April, 2017

Prisons are no longer places for punishment, ministers have said after the phrase was excluded from the first legal definition of the purpose of jails.

A new Prison and Courts Bill, proposed by Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, tells prison governors they must protect the public, reform and rehabilitate offenders, prepare prisoners for life outside and be safe and secure.

The legislation does not place any obligation on prisons to punish offenders, reigniting the row over so-called “holiday camp” jails.

Critics suggested Ms Truss had “gone soft on crime”, but the Ministry of Justice insisted that the courts punished offenders by sending them to prison, and that no further punishment was necessary once they were locked up.

The news comes in the week that Scotland Yard warned that Britain is experiencing a surge in violent crime and the prisons inspector found that guards have “all but lost control” at a crisis-hit jail where inmates are allowed to wander around in their dressing gowns.

In recent months Britain’s jails have experienced some of the worst rioting in decades, and pictures have emerged showing inmates with drugs and alcohol in their cells and even frying steaks.

select for full details Career criminals say life behind bars is just an 'occupational hazard'
The comments come amid mounting concerns that jails are 'soft' on offenders.
By John Stevens 15 April, 2017

Prisons are now so 'soft' on offenders that career criminals no longer fear them, the Prison Officers Association has warned.

The Government recently excluded any mention of punishment from the first legal definition of the purpose of prisons which has drawn criticism from the Prison Officers Association.

Steve Gillan, general secretary of the association said that most reasonable people would expect prisons to be about punishment.

"If you take away the discipline and punishment side from the prison service, then people don't fear it as much. It just seems to be an occupational hazard,' Mr Gillan told The Daily Telegraph.

But the Justice Ministry has said that depriving people of their liberty is punishment for crime so no further punishment is needed after incarceration.

Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, is putting a prisons mission statement into law that will 'make sure that it is crystal clear what the prison system exists to deliver'.

But the legislation that is due to gain royal assent later this month does not include any mention of an obligation on prisons to punish inmates.

The move comes despite mounting concerns that jails are 'soft' on offenders.

Last year pictures emerged of convicts at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset enjoying steak, alcohol and drugs inside their cells.

Prisoners are routinely allowed televisions and games consoles as a reward for good behaviour.

There is also significant concern that tens of thousands of mobile phones are being smuggled into prisons every year.

At Britain's biggest and newest prison, HMP Berwyn, which opened last month, the 2,100 inmates get phones and laptops in their 'rooms', which are not even called cells.

select for full details Thugs jailed after torturing man, 25, for 12 hours, then dumping him outside in a onesie
Gang 'took law into own hands' after false claim the victim had burgled a boxing club
By THE SUN 15 April, 2017

A KIDNAP victim was tortured for 12 hours and dumped outside dressed in a onesie.

A gang stamped on the 25-year-old’s head, kicked, punched and possibly stabbed him over a false claim that he burgled a boxing club in Dudley, West Mids.

He thought he was going to die as a samurai sword was held to his throat, Wolverhampton crown court was told.

He passed out and woke up tied to a chair in the club, soaking wet and naked from the waist up.

His kidnappers later dressed him in a onesie and dumped him in Hagley, West Mids

A woman who found him wandering around in his bare feet told police: “He was just staring into space.”

Five attackers were found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment or assault at Stourbridge.

Asa Cartwright, 30; his sister Charlotte, 23; her boyfriend Jak Skeldon, 26; Ricky Green, 26; and a long-time friend of the victim, Ashley Round, 24, were jailed for terms of between three and six years.

select for full details Gun and knife crime surge in Britain as police struggle to cope with a rise in youngsters who think it’s ‘trendy’ to carry a weapon
UK's biggest police force admitted it is battling an explosion in knife and crimes
By Rebecca Camber 13 April, 2017

Knife and gun crime is rocketing as youngsters think it is ‘trendy’ to carry a weapon, police said yesterday as two students were slain within 90 minutes of each other in London.

Britain’s biggest police force admitted it is battling an explosion in knife and gun crimes committed by young people as senior officers said it had become cool to carry weapons for status or protection.

The Metropolitan Police says gun crime is up 42 per cent, and knife crime has risen by 24 per cent. The Met says the picture is similar across the UK as Britain's blue line thins due to a 'significant reduction in resources'.

'Increased demand' on its officers caused by issues like 'child protection and mental health' have also been cited as causes of the rise, reports The Telegraph.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics for 2016 reveal that knife crime has risen by 11 per cent to more than 30,000 recorded incidents, and gun crime has risen seven per cent, top 5,400 incidents.

In a stark illustration of the problem, two young men, a 20-year-old business student and a 19-year-old footballer, were knifed to death in the capital on Tuesday.

Scotland Yard published shocking statistics yesterday showing that crime levels are soaring, while detection levels are falling across every major crime group.

The figures come weeks after a watchdog said policing in England and Wales is in a ‘potentially perilous state’ as Government cuts lead to investigations being shelved, victims being let down and tens of thousands of suspects remaining at large.

In a report on effectiveness in policing, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary uncovered a range of ‘dangerous’ and ‘disturbing’ practices that have arisen out of police forces’ approach to dealing with budget cuts in excess of 20 per cent.

select for full details HMP Birmingham boss replaced just months after worst UK prison riot in more than 20 years
Prison bosses also confirmed that HMP Birmingham will reopen its damaged wings later this month
By Nick McCarthy 12 April, 2017

The boss of HMP Birmingham has been replaced nearly four months after the worst UK prison riot in more than 20 years.

G4S, which operates the Winson Green prison , confirmed that Pete Small has been replaced by Richard Stedman, who was previously director of HMP Rye Hill, near Rugby.

Prison bosses also confirmed that HMP Birmingham will reopen its damaged wings later this month and reach full operational capacity with prison numbers returning to 1,450, from the current 990.

More than a third of the prison population was shipped out following the riot at the jail in December.

In what was dubbed the worst trouble since the infamous 1990 Strangeways Prison riot, it is believed more than £2 million of damage was caused.

Heroic prison officers held rampaging prisoners back who sprayed them with hoses and pelted them with missiles and paint during the 12-hour stand-off that was finally brought under control with the help of national colleagues who had been drafted in.


Retired prison officer Bryan Glennie spent 25 years working within the imposing Victorian walls and has recorded his memories
By Adele Merson 11 April, 2017

A new book telling the story of Aberdeen’s former jail will be published later this month – with a foreword by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Retired prison officer Bryan Glennie spent 25 years working within the imposing Victorian walls and has recorded his memories and recollections in a new book Craiginches: Life in Aberdeen’s Prison.

Bryan, who worked at the jail from 1971 to 1996, tells stories about the history of the 124-year-old facility, which was demolished in 2015. These include the prison’s only hanging, rooftop riots, botched escapes, drug smuggling and even how prisoners tried to brew their own beer in a dung heap.

But life in Craiginches had more upbeat episodes, too, with famous visitors including Princess Anne, comedian Andy Cameron and the pop star Toyah Willcox, who treated the prisoners to a one-hour live set.

Bryan, 74, was inspired to write the book because, he said, Craiginches was “much more than a holding facility for prisoners”, who also took part in a string of good causes across the North-east.

Efforts were made to rehabilitate those who wanted to be helped, which included working on a number of big projects such as when inmates were allowed out to help install walkways at the nature reserve at Burn O’Vat. Other projects included clean-ups of Balmedie Beach, efforts to help the Donmouth gain conservation status and – for two years – prisoners even had the responsibility of cleaning up Pittodrie after home games.

In the book, Bryan said: “There was too much achieved inside and outside of those prison walls to simply be discarded or condemned to the vaults of Scottish prison history.

“That was the main reason I decided to write this book.”

Bryan, who lives in Aberdeenshire, said he wanted his book to emphasise all that good work staff and prisoners contributed to the community.

Bryan said: “You can’t drive past now and see the prison and say such and such happened there.

“That’s the biggest part, I don’t think these things should be forgotten.”

Craiginches – which opened its doors back in 1890 – was emptied of all prisoners on January 10, 2014.

One of the chapters in the book details the last Scottish execution which went ahead in Craiginches on August 15, 1963.

Henry John Burnett was hanged after killing the husband of his lover with a shotgun.

The book tells how more than 200 people turned up to the jail on the day of the hanging to protest against the move and to put pressure on the authorities to stop the execution.

Another incident in the book details the time a prisoner climbed up onto the roof of the prison building in protest and rang the prison bell at 2am in the morning – to the annoyance of Torry residents nearby.

the foreword to the book is by Sir Alex Ferguson – a friend of Bryan’s – who writes: “It was my privilege to know Bryan Glennie when I was manager at Aberdeen Football Club.

“We had a very close friendship and I spent a lot of time with his family.

select for full details Rapist Robbie Thurston returns to prison for beating up woman with learning disabilities
Thurston, has a record of 163 crimes since 1982, including nine years locked up for raping a woman near Ipswich in 1991.
By Tom Potter 11 April, 2017

A rapist is back in jail for beating and imprisoning a woman with learning disabilities – restraining her with such force that her shoulder dislocated.

Appearing at crown court via video link from prison, Thurston was given another 40 months behind bars and banned from approaching his latest victim

He had been due to stand trial, but admitted grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment last week, having previously denied the offences – as well as two charges of rape and breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

The attack happened at property in Woodbridge on November 24.

Thurston hit his victim on the shoulders and hands, twisted her arm, dragged her to the ground and pushed her, causing her head to hit the kitchen sink.

Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said Thurston also took the woman’s house keys and mobile phone – refusing to let her leave.

“The defendant put his arms round her neck,” he added. “She was taken to a spare bedroom and held down on a bed for what she described as hours, or all night.”

select for full details Killer set off prison sprinkler system to flood his cell – then complained staff didn’t save his books
Steven Brady caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage by using a lighter to set off the fire alarm and activate the sprinkler system.
By Shona Gossip 12 April, 2017

Steven Brady caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage by using a lighter to set off the fire alarm and activate the sprinkler system.

But the murderer then wrote to court to complain that prison staff had not acted to look after his collection of 76 books, his Playstation and ten games.

The 28-year-old from Aberdeen, admitted damaging furniture and fittings in a cell at Perth Prison on January 19 by maliciously activating the sprinkler system.

Fiscal depute Carol Whyte told Perth Sheriff Court yesterday: “At 10.50am the accused was within a cell and the door was locked.

“The fire alarm panel activated and officers went into the cell and saw that the sprinkler system had been activated and the cell was flooded

“The accused was moved to another area and he admitted to staff he had used his lighter under the detector to activate the sprinkler system.

“The total damage to the cell was £436, including parts and labour.”

In a letter pleading guilty, Brady whined about the loss of his goods as a result of the flooding and said he set off the alarm because he feared for his life.

He said: “Mostly all of my personal property went missing after this event, with no explanation from staff. There was one PlayStation, ten games and 76 books costing an average of £6.99 each.

“All of this property was bought by my family. I set off the alarm as I believed my life to be in danger in the hall.”

Brady, who is serving life for murder, had a two month concurrent sentence imposed yesterday.

select for full details Guys Marsh prison criticised in follow-up inspection
Little progress has been made tackling violence and drug taking in a Dorset jail, the prison watchdog has found.
By BBC NEWS 11 April, 2017
A HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) report in 2015 called HMP Guys Marsh near Shaftesbury a "prison in crisis".

A follow up-inspection said the lack of improvement was "very disappointing", with assaults on staff having tripled and levels of drug use remaining high.

The prison service said more resources would be provided to tackle its "deep-seated challenges".

Guys Marsh is a category C training and resettlement prison which holds around 550 adult male prisoners.

It made headlines in 2016 when pictures of inmates with smuggled takeaways appeared on social media.

The pre-announced HMIP inspection carried out in December "found failings in almost every area", and concluded the prison "remains unsafe".

The report highlighted prisoners "self-isolating" for weeks or months for their own protection.

It said illegal drugs were seen as easily available with widespread use of Spice and it recorded that three inmates had taken their lives since 2015.

Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform said: "How bad does it have to get before the government takes action?

"The public are being put at risk, people are dying in the prison and staff are in danger. People are being released back into the community are actually being made more dangerous."

Michael Spurr, chief executive of Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) said an extra 18 prison officer posts are being created at Guys Marsh.

"Progress has been much slower than required, reflecting the deep-seated challenges. "A new, experienced governor has taken charge at the prison. An improvement plan is in place and we will use the recommendations in this report to drive further progress over the coming months."

select for full details Leeds prison governor suffers horrific burns after lag slams steaming plate of curry in his face
West Yorkshire jail boss suffered 'nasty wounds' including swelling to his eyes, redness around the face and burns to his chest
By Paul Sims 11 April, 2017
A PRISON governor suffered horrific burns after boiling hot curry was thrown in his face by a lag.

Injured Steve Robson was speaking to another prisoner at Leeds jail when the scalding grub was hurled at him.

the governor was on B wing at the West Yorkshire prison when the unprovoked attack happened on March 29.

He suffered ‘nasty wounds’ including swelling to his eyes, redness around the face and burns to his chest.

Mr Robson, one of the most experienced governors in the Prison Service, had to go home but has since returned to work.

A source said: “The governor was on one of his usual walks around the landings.

"He stopped and spoke to a prisoner who became agitated for no particular reason.

"He had just got a curry from the hotplate and it was literally steaming.

"The inmate threw the whole plate of food in his face.

"He staggered back and was obviously in a lot of pain."

select for full details Rise in attacks on staff at High Down prison, where there is a shortage of rehabilitation staff
There was a sharp rise in prisoner attacks on staff and fellow inmates at HMP High Down last year, a new report has found.
By Sarah George 13 April, 2017
the prison on the border of Banstead and Sutton, which holds more than 1200 inmates, was announced as a reform prison last May - where the prison governor is given unprecedented freedom over how the prison budget is spent; the daily regime, family visits and rehabilitation services - but is yet to see any significant changes according to a newly published report.

Prisoner attacks on staff nearly doubled in 2016 (from 47 to 89 year-on-year), and there were 51 more incidents of prisoner on prisoner violence (221 compared with 170) than in 2015, the prison's independent monitoring board (IMB) reported this month.

More incidents of self harm were recorded at the Banstead prison last year (313) than in 2015 (218), and more inmates (27 compared with 19) were transferred to mental health facilities including Broadmoor.

The IMB – a panel of members of the public who strive to ensure inmates are held humanely and treated fairly - called 2016 "a challenging operational year" for High Down.

Sue Bird, chair of the IMB, wrote: "As reported in 2015, the board is still of the opinion that there is a casual connection between the general frustration and violence towards fellow prisoners and officers.

"The increase in violence is symptomatic of a national prison issue."

The prison service was obligated to launch a recruitment drive at High Down last year, offering a £5,000 pay rise for new staff. This move was forced due to a "loss of experienced staff, many of whom have left the service", the IMB wrote.

The staff shortage necessitated the introduction of a four-month "restricted regime for safety reasons", with inmates spending more time in their cells and less time out for activity and education purposes.

select for full details Bungling prison bosses mistakenly freed burglar to strike again
Within weeks of Stoke Heath Prison releasing Joshua Roberts, 24, he targeted a property in Coedpoeth, Wrexham
By Elwyn Roberts 13 April, 2017
Bungling prison bosses accidentally freed a burglar who was up to his old tricks again within weeks.

Joshua Roberts, 24, was initially jailed in August for four and a half years for four break-ins.

However, staff at Stoke Heath Prison, Shropshire inexplicably released him on January 9 allowing him to go on to commit his 11th burglary.

today at Mold Crown Court Roberts of Bryn Hafod in Wrexham received a consecutive two-year sentence for his latest crime.

On that occasion Roberts broke into a house in Coedpoeth near Wrexham.

He stole an Audi Quattro off the drive while the owner was watching the Wales v England rugby international Saturday February 11.

When police officers saw the car on the Caia Park Estate at Wrexham, Roberts sped off – only to crash into some parked cars.

He and others fled from the vehicle but Roberts was arrested after a DNA hit on his blood found inside the burgled premises.

Judge Rhys Rowlands today told him: “You knew full well that they (Stoke Heath Prison) had made a mistake.

“The fact that the mistake was made is a matter of concern, the more so because in a short period of time you reverted to type.

“In less than three weeks you committed another burglary in someone’s home.”

select for full details New plans for Inverness prison go on public display
THE first glimpse of how the new prison planned for Inverness could look like was given this week
By Gregor White 6 April, 2017
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) released a series of artists’ impressions for the new facility which is currently planned for land close to the Inverness Shopping retail park.

A public outcry put paid to earlier plans for it to be sited close to homes in the Milton of Leys area and SPS has still to submit a formal planning application, but if it gets the go-ahead the £66 million HMP Highland will replace the current Porterfield facility in the Crown area of Inverness.

While that regularly averages around 117 inmates, despite being built for just 103, the new prison would be able to take up to 200 prisoners.

Senior architect for SPS, Gregg Perron, said: “The idea is that the new prison looks very much part of the environment it’s in and looks in a lot of ways like any other community facility. That’s important for the local community outside but also for families of prisoners and the prisoners themselves when there is such an emphasis on rehabilitation.”

A public consultation drew a low turnout at Inshes Church last week, with those in charge hoping this suggests people are largely satisfied with the latest proposals.

One man who did attend but preferred to remain anonymous said: “It seems very fancy, very modern – probably more fancy than it needs to be.”

SPS is hoping to submit a full application this summer with the prison opening towards the end of 2020 or start of 2021.

select for full details 'Neglect' contributed to Winchester prison inmate's death
Daryl Hargrave, who had a history of mental health problems, was found hanged in his cell in July 2015.
By BBC NEWS 8 April, 2017
He had been on remand for six days, an inquest in the city heard.

The jury found there was a failure to provide treatment for psychosis, and a decision not to put him under constant supervision also contributed to his death.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which manages healthcare at HMP Winchester, apologised for its failings and "the distress this process has caused the family".

It added improvements had already been made, including all mental health referrals now going to one point of contact and defibrillator training for all clinical staff.

Assistant coroner Karen Harrold said she had concerns about the risk of future deaths at the prison and felt further steps were needed.

Mr Hargrave's death was one of three self-inflicted deaths at HMP Winchester in two months during 2015.

Following an unannounced visit in 2014, inspectors described the prison as "insufficiently safe" with ineffective anti-bullying measures.

After the inquest, Mr Hargrave's mother Nicky said: "All we can ask is that lessons are learned and for the prison to get more resources and more training."

Solicitors representing the family said Mr Hargrave, from Gosport, had shown "clear symptoms" of psychosis days before his death and had told staff he had "demons in his blood, telling him to harm himself".

The jury heard he was arrested for allegedly being involved in a fight, and had been in prison for six days when he died.

His mother said he had struggled with addictions and had a history of mental health problems and self-harming.

The Ministry of Justice said the safety and welfare of people in its custody was a "top priority" but added it recognised there had been "significant failings" in Mr Hargrave's care. It added a "number of measures to better support offenders" had been put in place.

select for full details

“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep.

“If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

“But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens?

“What do you have then?

“A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.

“Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. ”

select for full details

Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebowale moved from high-security prison to 'softer' Broadmoor

An Islamic extremist who murdered soldier Lee Rigby near his London barracks will be moved back to Broadmoor from jail, it has been reported.
By Fiona Simpson 5 April, 2017
Michael Adebowale, 25, has been in high-security prison HMP Wakefield since September 2015 after he and accomplice Michael Adebolajo hacked the 22-year-old fusilier to death in Woolwich in May 2013.

The pair ran down the solider, a father-of-one, with a car before launching a brutal machete attack.

Adebowale was transferred from the tough category A prison in Yorkshire to the "softer" psychiatric hospital, where it costs £250,000-a-year to house inmates, the Sun reported.

According to the newspaper, Adebowale has refused to comply with medical treatment while in Wakefield jail leaving officials no choice.

The move was reportedly passed last month and the killer made the 210-mile journey earlier this week.

His victim’s family have spoken of their outrage following his transfer to the softer establishment

Following his original move from the hospital Fusilier Rigby’s mum Lyn hailed the end of his "gentler life".

The 50-year-old, told the Sun: “I’ve said before that Adebowale deserves to be in a tough prison for what he did to my Lee.

“I get the impression this whole situation is going to yo-yo back and forth for years because the authorities clearly don’t know how to deal with him.

“I need to be reassured that the right punishment is being handed down to the man who took my son’s life.”

select for full details Thousands sign petition against Baglan prison plan ahead of public meeting this weekend
Local councillor Marian Lewis claimed the petition had gathered the support of the majority of residents.
By Gemma Parry 6 April, 2017
Thousands of Baglan residents have signed a petition to stop a prison from being built in their village, according to local councillors.

Councillors Ceri Golding, Mark Jones and Marian Lewis said they had leafleted the entire village, and the results showed that “99.9% of residents are against the development”.

The reaction comes after an announcement of a public meeting this weekend to discuss the proposed category C prison set to be built in Baglan.

The new build is part of a Government-led drive to reform the crisis-hit prison system. Baglan is one of four sites for new jails across the UK.

it is expected to be built on Baglan Moors, near Baglan Industrial Estate, and could bring around 200 long-term jobs and 1,000 further posts in construction.

But Councillor Marian Lewis claimed the prison was not being welcomed by residents.

“I am against the building of the prison,” she said.

“We leafleted the whole area and then went around with a petition - we have over a thousand signatures to date. We also have an online petition.

select for full details Inmate dies after prison officers kept him in wrist locks
An inmate died after prison officers used unlawful force against him, a jury has found.
By May Bulman 30 March, 2017
John Ahmed, a 42-year-old father of four, was subject to multiple uses of force in three separate locations at Strangeways Prison in Manchester over around twenty minutes before he became unresponsive, the court heard.

Shortly before he died, Mr Ahmed had been exercising in the prison yard with a fellow prisoner, who was seen to pick up an item and hand it to him, at which point he was led into a wing corridor to be searched by two prison officers.

It was determined that a struggle soon ensued between Mr Ahmed and the prison officers. While the officers repeatedly described the inmate's behaviour as violent and aggressive, the jury rejected this narrative and criticised the officers for their failure to employ appropriate de-escalation techniques.

It found the officers had acted “disproportionately and unlawfully” at almost every stage, referring particularly to their actions in moving Mr Ahmed between locations in a bent-over position with his hands behind his back, and keeping him handcuffed in prone, face-down restraints on the ground — in contravention of Prison Service guidance and policy.

When during the third period of restraint Mr Ahmed began foaming at the mouth and making gurgling noises before becoming unresponsive, the officers kept him in wrist locks whilst checking on his welfare, the jury heard.

An ambulance was called and CPR was carried out, but Mr Ahmed was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. In addition to their findings on the use of force by prison officers, the jury also concluded that the supervising member of healthcare staff failed to carry out appropriate checks on Mr Ahmed’s physical wellbeing during the periods of restraint, and identified omissions on the part of the prison drug and alcohol clinicians in failing to refer him to the prison mental health team.

select for full details Prison staff dismiss 'demoralising' pay rise
POA says pay boost, which memo reveals may only affect 5% of staff, is MoJ’s distraction from prison safety issues.
By Nicola Slawson 1 April, 2017
A long-trailed pay rise for prison officers across the country has been dismissed as “demotivating and demoralising” by workers amid reports just 5% of staff could benefit from the hike.

The Prison Officers’ Association, which represents the more than 30,000 staff working in public-sector prisons, said the government has used the “soundbite” of an immediate pay boost to distract from deeper issues affecting the safety of officers and inmates. Glyn Travis, assistant general secretary of the POA, said he believed the justice secretary, Liz Truss, had been misled about the state of the prison service and that no detailed assessment had been completed before the pay rise was announced.

The MoJ announced an instant pay boost for “thousands” of staff in February, following reports of increasing violence against prison officers and the threat of strike action across England.

But according to the BBC, an internal memo reveals that the actual number immediately benefiting are 1,617 prison officers out of more than 30,742 staff – just 5.3% of the workforce.

The document reportedly reveals that the new allowances of between £3,000 and £5,000 replace existing payments of between £2,500 and £4,000, meaning some officers will have just £1,000 extra.

The MoJ is understood to be disputing the BBC’s report. When the raise was announced, the MOJ’s press release did state in the editor’s notes the new award was to replace existing pay increments for staff at 31 of the most difficult-to-recruit prisons. It also said the pay increase was only for band 3 officers at the eligible prisons.

A spokesperson for the MoJ said: “We have been clear we are increasing pay at 31 targeted prisons. Our approach will result in new recruits receiving higher starting salaries, with a pay boost of up to £5,000 for new and some existing staff in the most difficult-to-recruit prisons. This was clearly set out in our announcement.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Travis said: “We do not want to see soundbites from the government to say they are going to increase pay in certain establishments and that they have done a detailed assessment.

“We welcome additional money to improve recruitment and retention but not what this system has brought in, under the government. We firmly believe the secretary of state for justice has been misled because we don’t believe there was a detailed assessment.”

The pay boost only applies to 31 prisons, mainly in London and south-east England, including Bedford, Belmarsh, Brixton, Chelmsford, Feltham, Pentonville, Wandsworth, Whitemoor and Wormwood Scrubs.

select for full details UK to open first prison designed to stop the radicalisation of inmates
Crazed killer converted to Islam while locked up for knife attack before going on to kill four people in chilling attack
By Robin Perrie 1 April, 2017
BRITAIN’S first “jihadi jail”, designed to stop the radicalisation of inmates like Westminster killer Khalid Masood, is to open.

Masood, 52, converted to Islam while locked up for a knife attack, going on to kill four people last month. Now prison chiefs are spending £1million a year on three segregation units to keep the most dangerous Muslim radicals away from mainstream jail populations.

The first will be at Durham’s Frankland Prison where staff will watch up to 50 radicals.

Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo was moved there amid fears he was trying to radicalise inmates in Belmarsh, South East London.

Two more units will follow, thought to be at HMP Woodhill, Milton Keynes, and Whitemoor, near March, Cambridgeshire.