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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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‘Isolated’ South Cumbria prison moves to ease staff shortages

STAFF shortages at a jail dubbed one of the most isolated in England has led to a recruitment drive.

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new recruits Haverigg Prison

HMP Haverigg has had to draft in support from jails across the north west in a bid to minimise the effects of a staffing shortage at the prison but now governors have got approval to recruit new full-time guards.

The first recruit is already in training and there are due to be around 10 more positions created.

Karen Stewart, people hub manager at HMP Haverigg, said: “We’ve had a situation regarding recruitment for the last two-and-a-half to three years when there have been no newly-`recruited officers.

“There has been a lot of movement in the prison service with existing officers moving from different prisons and we’ve not been able to do any recruiting to Haverigg.”

Ms Stewart said while staffing shortages have impacted on the jail, the recruitment drive should be set to improve the situation.

In January a team of inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons visited the jail and said the layout of the jail added a challenge to staff, and with a staffing shortage the challenge had been made worse.

The inspection team branded the jail among the most isolated in the country, making it unpopular with staff and inmates alike.

However, two recruitment days, set to take place on July 1 and August 1, aim to end that.

Ms Stewart added: “It can be quite challenging but there’s a lot of opportunities for training and for promotion, starting salaries are around £18,000 but there is extra.”

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