Prisons boss received ‘scandalous’ £20,000 bonus

Michael Spurr

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Michael Spurr was given the payment in 2016-17

The man in charge of prisons as well as probation in England as well as Wales received a bonus of up to £20,000, the idea has emerged.

Michael Spurr was given the payment in 2016-17 on top of his annual salary of around £150,000.

The bonus was “awarded” the previous year when the chief inspector of prisons said many jails were “unacceptably violent as well as dangerous”.

The Prison Officers Association (POA) called the idea “scandalous as well as shameful”.

Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA, told BBC News: “the idea’s absolutely disgraceful which those who are overseeing a crisis from the prison service have been rewarded with performance bonuses.

“the idea’s scandalous which they’re being rewarded for failure.”

‘Staggering decline’

In his latest assessment of prisons in England as well as Wales, released This specific week, chief inspector of prisons Peter Clarke said he was “appalled” at conditions in many jails as well as said there had been a “staggering decline” in standards in youth custody centres.

Justice Secretary David Lidington also admitted in an open letter which the probation system was “falling short” of expectations as well as which measures designed to support prisoners on Discharge did not “command the confidence” of the courts.

The bonus payment is usually disclosed from the annual report via the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), which was published on Thursday.

Mr Spurr was chief executive officer of NOMS until April, when the government agency was re-named HM Prison as well as Probation Service, which he currently heads.

The report revealed which in 2016-17 the 55-year-old was paid £145,000-150,000 as well as received a bonus payment of £15,000-20,000, along with pension benefits of £25,000.

Phil Copple, the chief operating officer as well as interim director of probation, Colin Allars, director of probation, as well as Ian Porée, director of commissioning, were given bonuses of £10,000-15,000.

Claudia Sturt, director of security, order as well as counter terrorism, was paid a £5,000-10,000 bonus.

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The report said bonuses are determined by a committee headed by Richard Heaton, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Justice.

the idea said they are based on “performance levels attained” as well as are made as part of the “appraisal process”.

“An individual can only be awarded a bonus if they have exceeded at least one finance as well as efficiency objective,” the report said.

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Media captionInside Wandsworth Prison: Trashed cells, hooch as well as legal highs

Mr Spurr, who has spent his entire career from the prison service, starting out as a prison officer, did not receive a bonus the previous year, 2015-16, though payments were made to Mr Copple, Mr Allars, Mr Poree as well as Carol Carpenter, a former human resources director.

The annual report also revealed NOMS “breached” government pay policy when the idea increased overtime pay to prison officers, trained to deal with riots, as well as raised allowances for additional officers to address staff shortages.

The report said when the breaches became clear the Ministry of Justice submitted a business case to the Treasury asking them to agree to the payments, nevertheless the idea refused to do so.

A review into the pay policy breaches found there had been “failings in governance” nevertheless the payments still went ahead as well as are set to continue, the report found.

Smoke-free prisons

the idea also emerged from the document which all prisons in England as well as Wales are required to become smoke-free by the end of 2018.

The phased roll-out of smoke-free jails began last year in Wales as well as the south-west of England as well as there is usually currently a complete ban on smoking in 21 prisons across the estate.

the idea is usually understood a further 40 are from the process of going smoke-free This specific summer, with the majority required to be smoke-free by the end of the year.

Earlier This specific week, the Scottish Prison Service said the idea intended to make all of Scotland’s prisons smoke-free by next year.

Peter Clarke said the success of the smoke-free scheme depended on how well prepared prisons, staff as well as inmates were for the change.

He said one prisoner had been so desperate for a cigarette he had mixed nicotine patches with tea leaves as well as rolled the “tobacco” between pages torn out of a Bible.

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