Jobs warning on prison service plans

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PLANS to reorganise the prison service could cost between 800 and 1,000 jobs, trade unions warned yesterday, writes Heather Mills.

The Prison Service Agency intends to break down its headquarters into 'smaller strategic headquarters' - separating policy from service delivery, 'to improve efficiency and reduce costs' of the country's 130 jails.

The new headquarters will be responsible for development of the service; resources; direction and management; monitoring prisons; providing public accountability and input into the criminal justice system; and prioritising initiatives. But the unions say the service will be unable to deliver prison reform and proper accountability to the public and Parliament.