Rising prison population causes staff absence crisis

Chronic
overcrowding in the UK’s prisons has led to a huge rise in stress and sickness
absence levels among prison officers.

New
figures produced by the Liberal Democrats show that the rising prison
population has led to a 34 per cent increase in sickness absence, with 115,000
days a year lost to ill health.

The
sector is also suffering major skills shortages with more than 1,000 unfilled
vacancies for warders at prisons across the country.

Annette
Brooke, pensions spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats said the situation was
creating a crisis in morale and as a consequence increased the danger of riots
and assaults.

By Ross Wigham

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