The Berwick MP – Sir Alan Beith – wants more recognition for prison officers – who he says are heroes.
He’s been in jails in Northumberland – handing out long service medals to staff – and says more needs to be done to recognise their courage.
Talking to people in the North East it seems he may have a point. Most of us consider soldiers and police officers to be heroes but we wouldn’t think of prison officers. In fact, many of us have never even thought about the job they do.
But because they’re behind closed doors perhaps it’s too easy for them to be bad as well as good? I’ve been speaking to lads in Newcastle who’ve just got out and they don’t quite agree with Sir Alan.
This is Kyle from Springwell in Newcastle who’s been out of prison for a month:
Raymond, who’s from Kenton in Newcastle, is even more damning. He’s been in seven different prisons and thinks there are only a tiny fraction of prison officers who’re good:
So perhaps there’s room for rewarding the really great prison officers – but is there also room to sort out the bullies too? Or are all inmates just going to say they’re no good?