UK prison officers walk off job to protest growing violence

AP News
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Posted: Nov 15, 2016 9:38 AM

LONDON (AP) — Britain's High Court has ordered thousands of prison officers to end a walkout over rising violence behind bars.

Members of the Prison Officers Association protested Tuesday by stopping work, though they said they would respond to emergencies.

Prison guards are barred from striking and the government asked the court to rule the protest unlawful.

Justice Secretary Liz Truss said the walkout was "actively putting people at risk of harm."

Prison staffers say government cuts have made their jobs more dangerous and worsened conditions for prisoners.

The union says prison violence and inmate suicides are rising. Earlier this month, 200 prisoners rioted at Bedford Prison in southern England, and separately two inmates escaped from London's Pentonville Prison.

Tuesday's walkout led to court hearings being abandoned because prisoners couldn't appear in court.