§ Mr. O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which prisons have failed to meet their full establishment figures for prison officers; and what is the shortfall of staff in each of these prisons.
§ Mr. Mellor
The initial complement figures set for each establishment during the introduction of the "fresh start" arrangements have already been modified in many instances and are in the process of further revision. They will continue to be reviewed during the period of the594W framework agreement to take account of the resources available to the prison service and of the progressive reduction in the working week for prison officers. This continuing series of changes means that any list of complement figures for each of the 124 establishments around the country would be misleading and unreliable. Nationally the position remains that we have provided and will continue to provide all the additional staff promised under "fresh start": the number of prison officers in post has risen by nearly 20 per cent. over the past three years.
§ Mr. Lofthouse
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total shortage of trained prison officers in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Mellor
Although there are still problems in particular establishments, there is no general shortage of officers in the prison service. We are having no difficulty in attracting good quality recruits and are continuing to provide all the additional staff promised under "fresh start." The number of prison officers in post is now over 20,000, nearly 20 per cent. higher than three years ago.