Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Crisis meeting at Scrubs
Wormwood Scrubs is a Victorian jail
Prison officers at Wormwood Scrubs jail in west London are meeting to discuss their response to charges of assault to be made against 25 prison officers at the jail.
The Prison Service is expected to announce later on Wednesday that it will suspend the accused officers.
The prison governor Stephen Moore has already had a meeting of his officials.
In a separate development, a leaked report from the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir David Ramsbotham, recommends closing the jail as one way of dealing with the institutions problems.
The Secretary of the Prison Officers' Association (POA) at Wormwood Scrubs, Duncan Keys, said he expected the governor to support his staff.
He said none of the charges against his men were warranted and he claimed they were victims of a political conspiracy.
Mr Keys accused the Prison Service of leaning on the Director of Public Prosecutions to make sure someone was charged.
He said he was convinced the 25 staff would have their names cleared and predicted none of the assault cases would even come to court.
Daniel Machover urged the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to call a public inquiry to consider the wider implications of the allegations.
The POA's national chairman, Mark Healy, said it was "extremely sad" that the investigation had had to take place.
He said the POA would be supporting the accused men and pointed out that the POA called for police to get involved more than a year ago.
The alternatives are:
In a report two years ago Sir David described the jail as "a flagship dead in the water".