Page last updated at 22:36 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 23:36 UK

Lost prison staff data: Your views

BBC News website readers react to news that personal details of up to 5,000 prison and other justice staff staff have been lost by a private computing firm.

I work for the Prison Service as an Officer myself and yet again I wonder why we do this job. Our personal safety has now been put in jeopardy outside of our employment. Underpaid and understaffed we are being stretched to the absolute limit, what sort of a government does this?
Liverpool, England

I am a female Prison Officer in a men's prison but have to post anonymously for obvious reasons. On a daily basis I have to endure confrontation with prisoners - including those jailed for the most violent of crimes. I can only stand up to these prisoners and try to maintain discipline because I thought my employer recognised the need to keep my residential details private. If readers and politicians really understood the true level of daily confrontation, assaults, personal abuse and risk Prison Officers take each day, EDS would be forced to compensate the Government for this totally disgraceful lack of security. I now live in fear that just one of the thousands of genuine threats I've received from prisoners in the past decade may come to fruition against me or my family.
Frightened Officer, Lincolnshire

Having worked for the Prison Service for four years, although as a drug counsellor not as an officer, I have learned that, like any employer, the service has its good and not so good points. We deal with serious issues and an incredibly challenging client group on a daily basis and we deserve the right to feel protected by our employer. Now we can safely say that, not only are we paid some of the lowest wages in Civil Service, but that we are also being put at risk by the very people we trust with our security.
Annabel, Gloucestershire

I don't wish to leave my name, but I am a serving prison officer of six years. I have worked throughout Essex in two establishments. I am absolutely disgusted that we have been let down this way with the loss our personal details. We are constantly reminded of how important it is to safeguard our details both for personal [reasons] and security of our establishments. The fact the service have tried to hide does not surprise me, it is a service of people making rules and following things up only when it suits them. Yet again we are let down.
Essex

Not only do they want to get us injured or killed at work through severe staff shortages to save money (and before some bright spark says you knew what it was like when you joined, believe you me it wasn't like this). They now want it to happen on the outside. A lot of staff have had dealings with terrorists or gangsters etc. How can you possibly hope to maintain any discipline if your family is threatened? Talk about the forgotten service. If it was police officers all hell would break loose.
Fella, UK

Any prison officer would be concerned about their personal details being lost considering the environment in which we work. I for one would like to know if my details were lost or even a chance they have gone missing and why a private contractor had such information in the first place. There is no excuse for personal information being lost and we deserve to know exactly what has been lost.
Peter, Milton Keynes, Bucks

It's not so much that my details may be lost, anyone can get them if they want to. It's the fact that as an employee I find out from the news and not receive a warning from my employer that records have been compromised. In the service we have a high level of security, it's yet again down to these private companies. Conservatives and now Labour sell us down the slippery path. I wish people would stop blaming Brown, how about Blair, he jumped ship when it hit the iceberg.
Jay, Ashton In Makerfield

Resigned from HMP in 2000. Always very aware of personal security e.g. sites like 192.com that could track one so easily led me to get on electoral roll in a different identity. That our government now allows such info to be given away beggars belief - I'd be very concerned were I still in their employ, given the type of individual behind bars that looks for any sign of weakness.
Ian, Horsham



SEE ALSO
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