Press release: New prison anti-corruption taskforce unveiled

first_imgThe police will be working with HM Prison Service to co-ordinate this work, reflecting the fact that corruption can extend beyond the prison walls – sometimes involving criminal kingpins orchestrating activity from their cells.The new team accompanies our £70 million investment to improve safety, security and decency in prisons. This includes funding for new security scanners, improved searching techniques, phone-blocking technology and a financial crime unit to identify and seize assets linked to crime behind bars.This has come against a backdrop of rising prison officer numbers, with more than 4,700 additional officers now recruited since October 2016 and staffing levels at their highest since 2012.Notes to editors Corruption can range from a member of staff having a relationship with a prisoner to bringing in drugs and contraband for individual prisoners or organised crime groups. The unit complements prison security teams that can already search staff, including with metal detectors and baggage scanners.The new Counter Corruption Unit has 4 aims to combat the threat: Broadcasters: A pre-recorded interview with the Justice Secretary David Gauke is available on a pooled basis. Please contact Sky News at Millbank to obtain this for security reasons, we are unable facilitate the recording of the Counter Corruption Unit’s work Our prison staff are overwhelmingly dedicated and honest and do their best to instil safety and order in our jails. We have seen from recent criminal prosecutions, however, that a small minority continue to engage in corrupt behaviour in our prisons – damaging both the integrity of the system and their profession. This unit underlines our determination to stamp out criminality in prison in all its forms and will make sure we are closing the net on the individuals driving this, allowing the focus to be on safety and rehabilitation and ultimately keeping the public safer. new unit ‘closing the net’ on corrupt staff in prisons team of specialists installed to tackle the threat part of wider crackdown on crime behind bars protect against corruption by building an open and resilient organisation prevent people from engaging in corruption, strengthening professional integrity pursue and punish those involved in corruption prepare prisons to minimise the impact of corruption where it does occur. The new Counter Corruption Unit began work earlier this month and will proactively pursue those suspected of corrupt activity in prison and probation services across England and Wales.Working closely with law enforcement agencies, these specialist staff will investigate and disrupt criminality, and bring more prosecutions against those causing harm behind bars.Crucially, the new taskforce will serve to protect the vast majority of prison and probation staff who are honest and hardworking. It will take action to counter the chaos and violence caused by the few who smuggle illicit items into our jails or impede our ability to supervise offenders in the community effectively.The unit comprises 29 specialist staff split into a national team and 5 regional teams. Within these teams are expert intelligence analysts who will examine threats to the organisation.Justice Secretary David Gauke said:last_img read more

Researchers investigate new treatment that is effective against recurrent breast cancers

first_imgJul 30 2018What do one in five breast cancers have in common? Large amounts of a protein called HER2 (or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2).”Every healthy cell produces a normal amount of HER2, but HER2 is produced 10 to 20 times more in a cancer cell,” said Yehenew Agazie, an associate professor of biochemistry at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.Agazie is researching an alternative treatment for HER2-positive breast cancers, which tend to grow and spread especially fast. The National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded him $1.6 million over five years to study the treatment’s effectiveness in preclinical models.In addition to Agazie, the research team includes Yon Rojanasakul, pharmaceutical sciences professor in the WVU School of Pharmacy Sijin Wen, assistant professor of biostatistics in the WVU School of Public Health Paul Lockman, assistant vice president for experimental therapeutics at the WVU Health Sciences Center and associate director for translational research for the WVU Cancer Institute Source: “There are different types of drugs-;one of them being Herceptin-;that are anti-HER2. However, treatments so far show that patients can still develop resistance against those drugs,” he said. “One very important aspect is that all of those anti-HER2 drugs are targeting the already expressed HER2 protein without an impact on the process of expression.”The compound at the center of Agazie’s new study is different. Instead of inactivating HER2 in cells, it prevents cells from making too much HER2 to begin with. An analogy is cooking dinner in one big pot to cut down on dirty dishes, instead of using every pot in the kitchen and having to wash them all.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedIn 2017, Agazie and his former doctoral student Zachary Hartmann received a patent for the compound, which has shown promise at preventing breast cancer recurrence in previous laboratory studies.Now Agazie and his research team will pinpoint how well the compound keeps cancer-causing genes from expressing themselves, prevents normal cells from becoming cancerous, and if tumors do form, stops cancerous cells from overrunning the healthy, surrounding tissue. The group will also determine what dose of the compound maximizes its effectiveness and minimizes its toxicity.Another benefit of the compound is that it works even if a tumor has grown resistant to other drugs that target HER2-positive cancers. What’s more, the compound is effective against breast cancer that has spread to the brain, a common spot for breast cancer invasion. Treating tumors in the brain is especially vexing because the blood–brain barrier often blocks therapeutic drugs from reaching them.”Treating brain metastasis is a hard, uphill climb. It’s one of the major hurdles in drug therapy for cancer,” Lockman said. “If this novel drug molecule is successful, this experimental therapeutic could improve the treatment of brain tumors in women with breast cancer.”last_img read more