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UK: Return Global prison to public.

Morning Star
July 29, 2005
POA urges return of struggling jail to public sector

The Prison Officers Association called for the return of Rye Hill jail to public control yesterday, after the Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers found that staff at the private prison are being bullied by inmates.
In a damning new report, Ms Owers found that inexperienced prison officers are ignoring inmates' misbehaviour and working in pairs, just in order to "survive" on the wings of the Warwickshire jail, which is run by privateers GSL UK Ltd.
"We saw evidence of staff being bullied by prisoners and withdrawing from, rather than confronting, intimidatory and aggressive behaviour," Ms Owers said.
A POA spokesman explained that, while the union is "extremely concerned" at the findings, it is not altogether suprised.
"We have been receiving information from our members about the lack of control, as well as lack of management supervision," he said.
"We urge the Prison Service to assume control of this establishment and restore it to the state sector."
Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon described the report as one of the most hard-hitting that she had ever seen.
"The turnover of workers at Rye Hill would disgrace many burger bars," she said.
"If contestability is driving down costs by cutting pay and leading to staff coming and going, then it is a false economy.
"This level of staff turnover is hazardous to safety and undermines the work of a prison in guiding prisoners towards a responsible life on release."
But National Offender Management Service chief executive Martin Narey maintained that the struggling prison has "considerable potential."
"On my recent visit to the prison, where I spoke extensively to staff and prisoners, I saw and heard much to give me confidence that Rye Hill will soon be operating successfully," he declared.

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