Opinion Former Article

PCS: More prisons face privatisation weeks after job cuts announced

Public sector staff in eight more prisons have learned they face privatisation just two weeks after job cuts were announced by the company set to take over Birmingham prison, the Public and Commercial Services union says.

The government announced today (13) that eight prisons will be opened up to competition: Acklington, Castington, Coldingley, Durham, Hatfield, Lindholme, Moorland and Onley. Wolds prison, currently managed by G4S, will also be included. Latchmere House and part of Hewell prison will close.

The union does not believe that privatisation is compatible with reducing re-offending because it is not in the interests of the private sector companies to reduce the prison population.

And at a time when the prison population is in excess of 85,000, and there is still severe overcrowding in many of our establishments, there is no justification for the closure of Latchmere House and the partial closure of Hewell.

G4S has already announced plans to cut 123 jobs at Birmingham prison just four months after winning the contract for the prison and before it is even transferred.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This government is obsessed with putting profit before people, even when that means making money from locking people up.

"The recent announcement by G4S of job cuts in Birmingham proves it is simply untrue that these privatisation plans are about making services more efficient or effective."

ENDS

Notes

- For information and interview requests contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216

- The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has around 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich - on Twitter @janicegodrich

- Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

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