The number of prison officers at Preston prison has been cut by more than a third in the last three years, according to figures from the Howard League for Penal Reform.
The group released figures showing huge cuts in staff numbers at jails across the North West, including a 31 per cent cut at Preston.
The charity says that the cuts have coincided with deepening prison overcrowding and an alarming rise in the number of suicides in custody.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The prison system is at breaking point. Everyone should be concerned at the crisis in prisons as when people come out of jail they are more likely to inflict more crime on us.
“Ministers and various MPs have used different figures to try to minimise the impact of prison closures, but these statistics show the true picture.
“Governors, inspectors and prison officers are joining the Howard League in warning the government that prisons are not just failing, they are dangerous.
“Violence and drug use is out of control and we will all suffer the consequences. This is the most irresponsible government penal policy in a generation.”