Prisons: Staff

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's findings of the Joint Unions in Prisons Alliance survey; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The safety of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service staff working in prisons is a priority. The Joint Unions Alliance have written to us regarding the survey and we will give careful consideration to the findings. Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service has commenced research into the effects of second-hand exposure of prison staff to psychoactive substances. Initial research is focused on post-exposure testing of staff across ten prisons and it has been agreed that the testing programme will be expanded to include a further 10 prisons.

Across the prison estate we have invested an additional £70m in a raft of measures designed to improve safety, security and decency – including body-scanners, enhanced searches and new investigative teams – while the 4,700 additional staff we have recruited since October 2016 are making a real difference.

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