Petition is launched after BBC exposé at HMP Northumberland

A still image from the show. A prisoner  is high on the drug known as spice.
A still image from the show. A prisoner is high on the drug known as spice.

A petition has been launched calling for the Government to review and revoke private prison contracts and return them to the public sector.

It comes after HMP Northumberland, which is run by Sodexo Justice Services, featured in an explosive BBC Panorama documentary in February.

HMP Northumberland

HMP Northumberland

The undercover report featured disturbing footage showing prisoners high on drugs and staff struggling to cope.
Sodexo, which took over in December 2013, has vowed to investigate and take action.

In the wake of the show, ex-prison officer Paul Miller decided to launch the petition. He said: “I didn’t want the whole thing to die down after the programme had aired and had its 15 minutes. I wanted to keep the focus going.”

The petition was launched at the end of last week and has more than 200 signatures.

If it attracts 10,000 signatures, then the Government will respond to the petition. At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

The deadline is Thursday, August 24. Click here to sign it.