Prison officer attacks rise

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Prison officer attacks rise

Post by falkor » Tue May 19, 2009 9:10 pm

May 19, 2009, 08:39 Comment on this story
this is Exeter . . 19.5.09
NEW figures have shown a sharp increase in the number of assaults on prison officers by inmates at jails in Devon.

At Exeter Prison there were six assaults on staff last year, up from just two in 2004.
Over the same period the number of assaults on officers at Channings Wood prison, near Newton Abbot, went up from 10 to 17.

The figures were revealed in a report by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which highlighted a 31 per cent overall increase in violent incidents at English and Welsh prisons over the past five years.

The increase in prisoner-on-officer assaults at Exeter and Channings Wood — of 200 per cent and 70 per cent respectively — was well above the national average of six per cent.
Nationally, prisoner-on-prisoner assaults were up 36 per cent and self-harm incidents up 25 per cent.

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League, said the “shocking rise” in violence was due to overcrowding and mistreatment of mental health problems.
“As these are recorded statistics, it is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg with real levels of assaults, rapes and arson much higher than the Prison Service is admitting,” she said.

At Exeter, 38 inmates were attacked by other prisoners last year, up 46 per cent on the 26 assaults recorded in 2004. The number of such assaults at Channings Wood increased by 155 per cent, from 22 to 56. Incidents of self-harm also soared, from 65 to 117 at Exeter and from six to 34 at Channings Wood. Last year there were six fires at Exeter Prison, down from seven in 2004, while the number of fires at Channings Wood rose from five to 13.

Ms Crook said: “The answer to rising prison populations is not to build more failing jails, which churn out bitter and frightened prisoners into local communities, more damaged and dangerous from having spent time in our colleges of crime.
“It is time for the Government to look at wholesale reform of the penal system.”

A spokesman for the Prison Service was unable to comment on specific jails, but said: “The use of assault and self-harm data by the Howard League is misleading. Despite an increase in the number of prisoners convicted of violent offences, the percentage of all assaults that are considered serious remains stable at about 10 per cent.
“We take the care of prisoners and staff very seriously. There are community mental health teams working in 102 prisons, every prison has a violence reduction strategy and in January we started a review of the national violence reduction strategy so good practice can be shared across all prisons.”

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Re: Prison officer attacks rise

Post by Boogaloo » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:01 am

We are a small prison that has good interpersonal relationships with our prison population unfortunatly that is about to get blown out the water in the name of "progress".
Attacks on our prison staff is thankfully few and far between i put that down to the good relationship that the officers build up with the prisoners in our care.
At present we collect all prisoners for agency meeting, education etc etc chatting to them as we go this keeps the connection strong but we have been told we are to adopt a system of "free flow".
This will i believe alienate us from prisoners and i can see in the future the possibility of attacks on staff increasing.
I can understand large prisons adopting free flow but i don't think for us it will work. :slst:

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