Mark Leech, Editor of Converse and The Prisons Handbook



The National Prisoners Newspaper for England and Wales

10th March 2012, 1400hrs – NO Embargo

“Rathband’s Law – Why Exclude Prison Officers”

As the Memorial Service got under way for PC David Rathband with a call for donations to his ‘Blue Lamp Foundation’ that seeks to provide help to those injured in public emergency services, the national prisoners newspaper Converse has asked why once again prison officers who are injured are excluded from the fund.

Mark Leech, editor of Converse said: “Questions from the national prisoners newspaper as to why prison officers are excluded from help by this foundation may seem strange, but we believe everyone in the prison environment has the right to be safe – whatever side of the cell door they may stand on.

“There were 2,856 assaults on prison staff in 2010-11, of which 304 were classified as serious.

“Prison officers fulfil a vital but often unseen role in our society, taking care of dangerous individuals who the ’emergency services’ often pass on to them without recognition – it is time they were acknowledged for the work they do and the terrible injuries they so often suffer in silence.”