More prison officers sought

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The Independent Online
Prison officers' leaders have called an emergency meeting with the Prisons Board today to discuss an imbalance between numbers of jail staff and inmates.

Nearly 2,000 prison officers' jobs have been lost since 1993 and staff claim they do not have the numbers to cope with the record jail population. There are currently 58,516 inmates in Britain's jails, guarded by 23,000 officers, a ratio of 1: 2.5. When prison staff levels last slipped to 23,000 in 1992, the jail population was only 42,300, a ratio of 1:1.8.

John Boddington, chairman of the Prison Officers' Association, said unpaid overtime might be banned if the talks did not produce promises of more resources.

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