The Justice Secretary has denied UK prisons are in crisis, despite a rise in assaults by prisoners in England and Wales.
Chris Grayling's comments come as the latest surprise inspection of a facility in London found high levels of violence at the Isis prison with a high population of gang members.
Figures released last month by the Ministry of Justice showed a 6% rise in assaults in prisons in the year ending March 2014, up to 15,033 from 14,083 in the previous 12-month period.
Mr Grayling told the BBC: "We're meeting those challenges, we're recruiting more staff. I am absolutely clear there is not a crisis in our prisons".He added that prison violence "is at a lower level today than it was five years ago".
More top news
A rollercoaster has come off the rails at a theme park in Scotland, leaving eight children and two adults in hospital.
"I saw a lot of smoke come out from the tail-end of the aircraft. I wondered if it was normal, whether it was just exhaust fumes."
The House of Commons Petitions Committee has said they will keep an eye on the petition and are concerned about fraudulent signatures.