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More jail staff at Featherstone and Brinsford as violence soars

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Troubled prisons will take on an extra 50 recruits as part of a drive to cut down on 'unacceptable' violence.

HMP Featherstone and HMYOI Brinsford

HMP Featherstone and HMYOI Brinsford, the young offenders institute next door, could see staff numbers increase by over a fifth, according to figures on a government advert.

The Howard League for Penal Reform reported last year that there were 96 prison officers working at HMP Featherstone and another 145 at HMP Brinsford.

The 50 new recruits will be split between the two facilities and the prison service is particularly looking for ex-servicemen and women.

Just last week footage was posted online showing inmates at HMP Featherstone brawling as others looked on and cheered in a 'fight club'-style boxing match.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures show in 2010 there were 66 recorded assaults at Featherstone but last year that number had more than doubled to 144.

HMYOI Brinsford recorded the most assaults in any Young Offender Institution in the country in 2015.

There were 276 attacks on either staff or inmates over that year.

The National Offender Management Service is asking for applicants to apply for the £20,751-a-year jobs at the South Staffordshire prisons by February 28 but warns being an officer 'isn't for everyone'.

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A Prison Service spokesperson said: "We have announced a major overhaul of the prison system, including 2,500 extra frontline officers.

"We are also introducing a new scheme to attract top graduates and former servicemen and women into the service."

Liz Truss, the justice secretary, said levels of violence and self-harm in prisons had become 'totally unacceptable'.

Last year then Featherstone inmate Menelek Thompson was sentenced to an extra two years and four months for hurling boiling jugs of water mixed with sugar at two guards.

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