A COUNCIL OF EUROPE CODE OF ETHICS FOR PRISON staff has been criticised by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). The code lays down 36 recommendations as to the behaviour of prison staff covering such topics as ‘Accountability’, ‘Integrity’ and ‘Respect and Protecction of Human Dignity’ but, according to EPSU, leaves out the increasing workloads and dangers to their health and safety that prison staff are experiencing as austerity measures lead to cuts in provision. EPSU points out that in just two weeks in October a Swedish union member was beaten to death while several French prison workers were shot by an inmate and a Belgian prison officer was kidnapped and injured. They say that the long-term trend of ‘welfare state contraction and imprisonment expansion’ has been made worse by the current public sector cuts. In Greece, the country worse hit by austerity policies, the Korydallos prison, meant for 900 inmates, houses 2,300 and each night warder is responsible for 280; there is one nurse on duty for the whole institution. The federation calls for the Council of Europe to support prison staff and not to place additional pressure on them through ‘rhetoric’. It wants trade unions to be involved in changing the code so that it clearly distinguishes between staff and management responsibilities, provides protection for ‘whistleblowers’ and stressees the rôle of staff training and rights at work.