Our target to recruit an additional 2,500 officers was successfully achieved in the first quarter of last year, ahead of schedule. From October 2016 to 31 March this year, there was an increase of 4,675 full-time equivalent prison officers.
I welcome that increase in the number of prison officers. What progress has been made with the key worker scheme in prisons?
The key worker scheme is an important part of improving support for prisoners, leading to safer prisons. That work has begun in all 92 prisons in the male closed estate, and 66 of them have completed implementation activities and started to deliver key work. Only last week I spoke to prisoners in two of those prisons who are already receiving the benefits of that interaction.