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Warning over prison officer cuts

By Wesleyan

Prison officer numbers have been cut by 41 per cent in England and Wales since the current Government took power, leaving the system in a state of crisis, a reform charity has warned.

The Howard League for Penal Reform said there were only 14,170 officers in state-run jails - but in August 2010, there were as many as 24,000.

The news follows hard on the heels of a warning from the Prison Governors' Association that prisons could reach a crisis point unless staffing problems are tackled.

As part of the cuts, 1,375 officer posts were shed when 15 jails run by the state were shut during the period in question, the research suggests.

The Government has taken issue with the league's statistics, saying that the reduction amounted to 27 per cent, not 41 per cent, with the drop over the time period being 24,850 down to 17,971.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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