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Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th January 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels in prisons.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Our hard-working officers play a crucial role in keeping prisons safe and transforming offenders’ lives, and ultimately make sure the public is protected.

We recognise the need to recruit and retain staff to keep our prisons secure. We have invested significantly in increasing staff numbers, recruiting an additional 4,581 (full time equivalent) prison officers between October 2016 and September 2019, surpassing our original target of 2,500. We will continue to recruit officers to ensure prisons are safe and decent.

We are giving staff the tools they need to do the job safely – rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray, and investing £100 million, as part of a wider £2.75 billion package, to fund tough airport-style security that will clamp down on the illicit items which fuel violence and hinder rehabilitation.

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