Prisons in crisis over 'toxic mix' of pressures, ministers are warned

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Prisons in England and Wales are in crisis after "perverse" Government reform and a "toxic mix" of pressures, the head of the body representing governors has warned.

Andrea Albutt, president of the Prison Governors Association, launched a blistering attack on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), saying a recent increase in indiscipline is "of grave concern".

Riot police were called into HMP The Mount in Hertfordshire for the second day on Tuesday after inmates reportedly seized control of part of a wing, while HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire also saw an incident involving prisoners.

In a letter Ms Albutt said members had told her that they have seen "nothing tangible" come from the MoJ to ease the burden on prisons, leaving governors facing "unacceptable stress and anxiety" on a daily basis.

"We know many prisons are in crisis and I deliberately use that term, because it can't be dressed up in any other way," she said.