Is this yet another problem created by our Conservative-led Coalition government’s determination to cut public sector employment, no matter what the consequences?

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

Prison overcrowding combined with a cut in officer numbers of up to 30 per cent is stretching the service to breaking point, according to a new report.

The Howard League for Penal Reform shows that in the last three years officer numbers in the North East dropped by 30 per cent from 2,062 in September 2010 to 1,450 by September 2013.

The figures in Yorkshire and Humber show a reduction of 28 per cent in the same period. Northallerton prison has been closed since the figures were compiled.

The charity says the decline in officer numbers across the country has coincided with the loss of 6,500 prison places due to closures and readjustments, which has resulted in a growing number of inmates being forced into a diminishing number of prisons.

However, the charity’s figures have been branded ‘misleading’ by the government minister in charge of prisons.

Prisons Minister

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