Prison officers at Birmingham’s Winston Green prison are threatening to strike after the Government announced the jail will be taken over and run by a private firm.

As early as October, the private security firm G4S will replace the current prison officers, according to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke.

Fearing for their jobs, members of the Prison Officers’ Association are accusing the Government of attempting to privatize the jail and are prepared to strike in response.

The chairman of the POA, Colin Moses, said on behalf of the group, “We do not want to go on strike and we are looking for a sensible resolution, but we do not want to see these jobs privatised and we will protect public-sector jobs.”

What Justice Clarke calls a “rehabilitation revolution,” many see as a front to cover up privatising the jail in an effort to reduce government spending.

“Private companies are only interested in one thing – profit – and in a modern society the private sector should not be courted to do the job of the state,” said Steve Gillan, POA secretary.

He went on to claim that since private companies care only about money, the needs of the inmates will be overlooked.

If the POA does go on strike, there are rumours that the army will take over for the absent guards.