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Alex comments on planned prison reforms

Commenting on the Government’s proposals to create six “Reform Prisons”, including Holme House prison in his Stockton North constituency, Labour MP Alex Cunningham said:

“The huge rise in violence in prisons and assaults on prison officers, along with the Tory Government’s failure to rehabilitate prisoners, has demanded drastic action for some time – but whether these new “freedoms” will overcome these issues is another matter.

“We’ve already seen the number of prison officers tumble in recent years, including at Holme House prison in Stockton, so I will be interested to see what the new executive governor will do particularly in that area. I only hope we don’t see any agenda towards privatisation of the service or the escalation of pay for the most senior staff as we have seen in Gove’s academy schools and chains.

“The detail may help us understand what is planned but it’s only by investing in the prison service to tackle illiteracy and low achievement, and by comprehensively addressing mental health issues amongst prisoners, will people in the system have any real chance to be rehabilitated and lead a normal life.”