31/07/2006

Report highlights corruption among prison staff

Around 1,000 prison officers are believed to be involved in corruption, according to a leaked study, it has been reported.

The report, the result of a year-long investigation by the Metropolitan Police and the Prison Service's anti-corruption unit, was leaked to the BBC.

Among the allegations were claims that officers had smuggled in drugs and mobile phones for prisoners, while others were accused of accepting cash payments from inmates in exchange for arranging transfers to less secure prisons.

The report also suggested that more than 500 prison staff had "inappropriate relationships" with inmates.

However, the report did find that most prison staff were honest.

Commenting on the report, Mark Leech, editor of the Prisons Handbook, the annual guide to the penal system in England and Wales said that the report showed that what was claimed to be "a few isolated cases" of corruption, was the tip of a "huge iceberg".

Mr Leech said that the measures that the Prison Service had in place to tackle corruption were "woefully short" of what was needed.

(KMcA)

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