This month in my role as Shadow Prisons Minister I gave the Labour Party’s response at a Westminster Hall Debate on Prison Safety.
The debate was secured by Chair of the Justice Select Committee and MP for Bromley and Chislehurst Bob Neil, and focused on the Justice Select Committee’s report into prison safety which was published in May 2016 and the Government’s response which was published earlier this week.
There was much consensus in the debate from MPs from all parties; with most agreeing that more must be done by the Government to improve safety at our prisons as current levels of self-harm, suicide, assault and drug use are sky high.
In the debate I shared my views on what needs to be done to improve safety in our prisons; namely to increase prison officer numbers and to improve retention of officers. I spoke about my concerns that the newly appointed Justice Ministers do not seem to share mine, or the Justice Select Committee’s urgency in the issue being tackled, and called on the Government to commit to an action plan that will enable prisons to be safe, rehabilitative spaces for those sentenced to reside there.
You can watch my full speech below: