The Federation for Prisons and Rehabilitation workers fears for Security
The Norwegian Federation for Prisons and Rehabilitation workers (FRI) fear that further budget cuts will come at the expense of the safety of employees and inmates in Norwegian prisons.
Last year there were record numbers of violence incidents against Norwegian prison workers. According to the Trade Union, the number of cases has doubled in two years, from 508 events in 2014 to 1,048 events in 2016, writes Dagbladet.
Leader of the Union, Rita Bråten, does not believe the figure will decrease this year.
– We think the total number of events will be around a thousand for 2017 as well. Already by September we had 701 registered events, she says.
What causes the increase of violence and threats, is difficult to give a definite answer to, Bråten thinks.
– We believe one main reason is that cuts in Government funds affect the manning, she says.
Since 2013, the Norwegian Crime Care has seen budget cuts of NOK 150 million, according to NRK. In next year’s budget, another NOK 45 million of cuts are added.
– Earlier, it was possible to hire temporary workers during sickness, leaves and after overtime. You could also hire extra staff to work specifically with challenging prisoners. This can no longer be done because the budgets do not allow it, says Bråten.
Minister of Justice, Per-Willy Amundsen (Progress Party), says he takes the safety of employees and inmates very seriously. He adds that he believes the cuts do not affect the number of employees who work directly with inmates to any degree.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today