Prison Officers

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 17th March 2015.

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Photo of Liz McInnes Liz McInnes Labour, Heywood and Middleton 11:30 am, 17th March 2015

What assessment he has made of recent trends in levels of prison officer recruitment, retention and training.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The National Offender Management Service is on course to recruit its target of 1,700 new prison officers by next month. The training capacity for new officers has been expanded to meet demand. There has been a small increase in the rate of leaving by new officers.

Photo of Liz McInnes Liz McInnes Labour, Heywood and Middleton

Will the Minister answer the final part of the question regarding the training of prison officers, which he omitted to do in his response?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Very willingly. I am always mindful of Mr Speaker’s injunction to keep answers short. We have a six-week residential training course to provide a custodial national vocational qualification. In time, we want to raise that to a 10-week course, but we have not been able to do so because Newbold Revel, which I visited last week, is full to bursting with prison officers. Prison officers are taught to a very high standard. On my visit last week, I spoke to prison officers in training, and I am very pleased with the excellent work that is being done there.