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  1. ITV Report

'We were all inexperienced once' Prisons Minister tells North East MP

A Teesside MP has spoken in the House of Commons to raise concerns about the recruitment of what he called 'inexperienced' officers at a local prison.

Holme House Prison. Credit: ITV News

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham spoke during questions to the Ministry of Justice, and raised concerns about 18 year olds replacing experienced prisons officers at HMP Holme House in Stockton.

Speaking in the Commons earlier today, Alex Cunningham asked:

The Minister will be aware of the major drug finds and related problems at Holme House Prison in my constituency which has seen experienced officers leave and replaced by 18 year old recruits.

“Does the Minister really think that recruiting youngsters is the answer to meet the needs of our increasing prison population, the answer to tackle drugs, or solve the crisis in the service?”

– Alex Cunningham MP
Alex Cunningham MP, speaking in the House of Commons. Credit: ITV News

Prisons Minister, Sam Gyimah MP, responded by saying that we were all inexperienced once”.

The Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah MP. Credit: ITV News

"We were all inexperienced once, but that did not mean that we were not capable of doing our jobs. A lot of our recruits are of the highest calibre, using the same recruitment methods as we have used all over the years.

"The Opposition did not believe that we could deliver these numbers. We are delivering them, and I think they should actually be supporting the government."

– Sam Gyimah MP, Prisons Minister