Onley Prison strengthens workforce to tackle rising levels of violence

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Onley Prison has strengthened its workforce significantly over the last year as it aims to tackle rising levels of violence.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has welcomed the boost to prison workforces, saying the Government has recognised the need to “ease the pressure on the prison system”.

Home Office figures show that there were the equivalent of 316 full-time members of staff at Onley Prison in December.

It was 49 more than the previous year, an increase of 18%, and 46 more than in 2013.

Figures released earlier this year show that levels of violence have been rising in the prison.

In the first nine months of last year, 262 assaults were recorded, 76% more than during the same period in 2013.

In addition, 289 incidents of self-harm were recorded during the same period, and three people died in the prison across the whole of 2018.

Deaths, violence and self-harm cases hit record levels in prisons during the first nine months of 2018.

A further 12 future staff members were due to begin Prison Officer Entry Level Training for Onley Prison between January and April.