The Chair of the prison watchdog says morale among staff and prisoners is so low due to cuts that she fears there could be riots. The watchdog says Wormwood Scrubs prison is on a "knife edge" with inmates being locked up for up to 23-and-a-half hours a day.
The watchdog says there has been a 50% rise in use of force and restraint of prisoners at the Victorian prison.
Wormwood Scrubs continues to provide an ordered, safe and decent regime, while coping with a number of operational challenges.
I am very conscious of the pressures staff face and we remain absolutely committed to tackling and reducing violence at Wormwood Scrubs and across the prison estate.
Our more efficient national model for running safe and secure prisons is being introduced at Wormwood Scrubs next month.
This will help maximise opportunities for rehabilitation, with more prisoners engaging in full-time work, while staff will be deployed efficiently so a positive regime is routinely and consistently delivered.
– Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service
A report claims that Wormwood Scrubs prison is 'on a knife-edge', with staff revealing they have "never felt so fearful". Details have been released in the prison's annual report.
One extract of the report by the Independent Monitoring Board says: "Cuts in staff not only negatively affect the Ministry of Justice's key incentive to rehabilitate prisoners. The absence of one or two prison officers due to illness or holidays can have a huge impact on the prison regime."