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House of Commons Hansard
26 January 2017
Volume 620

    Prison Staff

    The following is an extract from Questions to the Secretary of State for Justice on 24 January 2017.

  • Six major incidents in eight weeks is unprecedented in the 25 years I have been in this House. Following on from her reply to the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh), will the Secretary of State confirm that the figures to September meant a loss in that last year of 417 prison officers? When she says that she has to recruit 2,500 officers, does she not mean that in the next 12 months she will have to recruit 4,000 to make up those 2,500, and does she intend to do that?

  • The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We need to recruit 4,000 officers over the next year. I announced initially that we were recruiting officers for 10 of the most challenging prisons. We have already made job offers to almost all those 400 people, so we are making good progress. We have recently launched a graduate scheme, Unlocked. Within 24 hours of announcing that scheme, we had expressions of interest from more than 1,000 candidates, so there are people interested in joining the Prison Service. It is challenging to recruit that number of officers, but we are absolutely determined to do so. It is what we need to do to turn our prisons around and make them places of safety and reform.

    [Official Report, 24 January 2017, Vol. 620, c. 143.]

    Letter of correction from Elizabeth Truss:

    An error has been identified in the response I gave to the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson) during Questions to the Secretary of State for Justice.

    The correct response should have been:

  • The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We need to recruit 4,000 officers over the next year. I announced initially that we were recruiting officers for 10 of the most challenging prisons. We have already made job offers to almost all those 400 people, so we are making good progress. We have recently launched a graduate scheme, Unlocked. Within 24 hours of announcing that scheme, we had expressions of interest from more than 350 candidates, so there are people interested in joining the Prison Service. It is challenging to recruit that number of officers, but we are absolutely determined to do so. It is what we need to do to turn our prisons around and make them places of safety and reform.