Longer jail terms for drug dealers Private sector prison operators are to be handed radical powers in a bill to be published next year by David Blunkett.

The move will see companies such as Securicor and Premier take on a range of additional responsibilities, including enhanced disciplinary powers.
However, the home secretary is risking a row with Labour backbenchers over the moves, which are expected to lead to cost savings. Labour MPs say the proposals would undermine the public sector ethos of the Prison Service but the government says the strong record of private sector providers justifies giving them the additional powers.

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