Massive staff cuts at HMP Isle of Wight have resulted in increased violence, putting staff and prisoners at risk say prisons officers this morning (Friday) as they staged a mass walk-out.
Taking part in a national day of action, around 100 officers took part in the walk-out to show their concern over the pressure the system is being put under due to cuts in funding and resources, saying the prison is “massively understaffed and unsafe”.
Increase in drugs and violence
In May this year, OnTheWight reported that Isle of Wight prison assaults were up 42% in five years and last month, we reported that six times more drugs were found at HMP Isle of Wight than than five years ago.
Call for end to “dangerous underfunding”
Island Labour today called for an end to the dangerous underfunding of Prisons. They have expressed deep concern that Prison Officers at HMP Isle of Wight have been forced into a walk-out over extraordinary levels of violence and poor conditions at HMP Isle of Wight and other prisons across the UK.
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:
“Our prison officers here on the Isle of Wight are dedicated public servants. They are resilient and robust, and they have to be in order to do their job.
“So when those good people are telling us that there is a serious and dangerous problem in our prisons, and that they are unsafe as a result, then we should all listen.”
He went on to say,
“The crisis in our prison system has taken another turn for the worst – our prison staff are facing extraordinary levels of violence and poor conditions. Cuts to prison budgets by this Conservative Government have created this unprecedented crisis.
“We support the prison officers and staff at HMP Isle of Wight, and their colleagues in the prison service across the country.
“A Labour government would recruit 3,000 more prison officers, publish prisoner-officer ratios, and lift the public sector pay cap to help increase recruitment and retention of prison and probation officers.”