London: More than 1,000 prison staff have been dismissed for misconduct over the past six years, figures from the Ministry of Justice show. They include 43 who lost their jobs after they were found to have embarked on inappropriate relationships with prisoners. Other reasons for dismissal included “breach of security”, being “unfit for duty through drink or drugs”, use of unnecessary force on prisoners, and being asleep on duty. In all, 1,121 staff were dismissed for misconduct between 2014 and 2020 at English and Welsh prisons, the Mail on Sunday reported. Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the Ministry of Justice said: “The vast majority of prison officers and other staff carry out their duties to the high standards the public rightly expect, but the small minority who fall short of those standards are held to account.”
Only a small proportion of misconduct investigations result in dismissal. Last year Inside Time reported that in one 12-month period alone, the 2018/19 financial year, a total of 2,511 prison staff were the subject of investigations – an increase of 33% on the previous year’s figure. The three most common kinds of allegation related to breach of security (496 cases), performance of duties (467) or unprofessional conduct (446). There were 169 staff investigated for assault/unnecessary use of force on a prisoner, 38 for having an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner, 24 for sexual harassment/assault, 14 for corruption, and 37 for being asleep on duty. The problem is a long-running one. An earlier newspaper investigation, in 2007, uncovered figures showing that 1,300 prison officers were found guilty of misconduct between 2000 and 2006 for a similar range of offences.
Source: Inside Time, https://is.gd/c6pqFU
More Than 1,000 Prison Staff Dismissed for Misconduct