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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

Aug 29, 2007: Unprecedented Prison Officers' Strike

Over 20,000 prison officers in England and Wales have just ended their first national strike. The government argues that the strike is illegal. The Prison Officers' Association has never previously engaged in a national strike. The strike action began at 7 a.m. and continued for approximately 12 hours. According to the POA, every of of the129 non-private prisons in England and Wales were affected.

During the strike, prisoners were locked down in their cells while governors were ordered to distribute meals. Visitors waiting to see prisoners were told to return home. Police cells were used to hold nearly 1000 prisoners who were unable to travel to their allotted prison following court appearances.

The POA said it engaged in strike action with giving notice to enable it to avoid court action forbidding the strke. The Prison Service is banned from striking by section 127 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. 

The incoming New Labour government  lifted the ban on taking office, but instituted a voluntary no-strike deal with the POA after accepting that an independent review body would decide pay. Prison officers are unhappy that the government has staged the annual pay increase, after the independent review body had requested an annual increase of 2.5%. The government has ordered an increase of 1.5% in April, with a subsequent 1% increase in November. This is arguably an annual increase of around 1.9%.

Prison numbers are continuing to rise and the prison is stretched to capacity, and the job of prison officers is extremely stressful. Violence against staff is part and parcel of the job, with an average of 8 assaults on staff every day. The annual starting salary for prison officers is approximately £17,700.

Following a national ballot, the POA voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action, including strike action.