Prison chiefs urge staff review after disturbance
A DISTURBANCE at a maximum security prison should be “ringing alarm bells at the most senior level”, the Prison Governors Association (PGA) has said.
John Attard, national officer for the group, said trouble at Category A Long Lartin on Wednesday night was symptomatic of cutbacks and changes in the Prison Service management structure.
A total of 81 inmates were involved in the incident at the Worcestershire jail, which led to specially-trained riot officers being drafted in to resolve tensions.
Eighteen prisoners have now been moved to other jails.
Mr Attard said: “The fact that this is a high-security prison must be ringing alarm bells at the most senior level. It causes us some concern.
“Last year the PGA called for an independent public inquiry into the state of our prisons due to cuts. It fell on deaf ears. That call has not gone away.
“When we get disturbances of this nature in high-security prisons the worry is if there is a potential for this to happen again. I think we’ve dodged a bullet on this. It was brought under control very quickly and it’s fantastic they’ve dealt with it.
“But I think there needs to be a review. The changes to the management structure and staffing structure are a key part of this.”
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Specially trained prison staff resolved an incident at HMP Long Lartin on 12 October. There were no injuries to staff or prisoners.
“We do not tolerate violence in our prisons, and are clear that those responsible will be referred to the police and could spend longer behind bars.”
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