London, Oct 1 : Lancashire prison staff has been asked to call their inmates, including sex offenders and violent criminals "Mr" - a move which is a part of their "decency agenda".
According to the Prison Service's national "decency agenda", management at the Wymott jail, which is run by governor Jayne Blake, the inmates must be called as "Mr", followed by their surname at all times.
In a joint letter, Ron Crosby, chairman of the Prison Officers' Association at Wymott, and deputy chairman Howie Probert said the test of the decency agenda is: "Would we as members of the prison service like our children to be treated in the same manner as prison staff treat prisoners today?"
"All serving prison staff buy into this agenda and treat prisoners decently and with humanity, even under exceptionally difficult circumstances," Telegraph quoted Probert, as saying.
A Prison Service spokesman said: "The Prison Service's decency agenda has been in operation for over five years. It seeks to improve the well being of everyone in prison, staff and prisoners alike.
"Prisoners are addressed by their first names, preferred names or by using the term 'Mr' and this is practice across the prison estate."
Earlier, an officer, who was assaulted by a violent inmate, was told that charges would be dropped unless he called his attacker "Mr" throughout the hearing, although the Prison Service denied this.
by local Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, whose Chorley constituency includes the category C jail has condemned the move.
"It is an absolute disgrace," he said. "It is as though the inmates have taken over the asylum," she said.
"We ought to remember it is the prisoners that have done wrong, not the prison officers," she added.
The Liberal Democrat's justice spokesman David Howarth added: "It is important that prisoners are treated with respect, but it is also important that prison officers are treated with respect.