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Prison Service: Emergencies

Volume 468: debated on Monday 3 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what type of events are classed as operational emergencies in the Prison Service. (169994)

An operational emergency may result from a range of scenarios involving the management of prisoners and the prison estate. For specific purposes, the term operational emergency is defined in two documents. Bulletin 8, setting out terms and conditions of employment for prison officers, defines an operational emergency as a protracted emergency attendance involving the majority of available staff—for example, concerted indiscipline or passive demonstration.

Schedule III of the Joint Industrial Relations Procedural Agreement between the Prison Service and the Prison Officers Association defines an operational emergency as an occasion where staff will be required to act contrary to the terms of an agreement whether national or local, when events make such action necessary having been identified as a clear operational emergency.