Safety in Custody and Violence in Prisons

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 9th May 2016.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 3:39 pm, 9th May 2016

The Minister is absolutely right: prison officers do an exceptionally difficult job. They need and deserve our fullest possible support. That has to be more than a platitude. For that to be the case, staffing levels have to be addressed. The other issue that has to be addressed is prison overcrowding. The prison population is now in excess of 90,000 inmates. In the past 15 years, the length of sentences has gone up by 33%. Can the Minister assure me that, as he tackles this issue, he will look at it in the round; that he will look not just at prisons in isolation but at how they interact with police, prosecution and court authorities?