Plans were announced today by the Ministry of Justice to reform the UK’s prison system. A statement released this morning states that six prison facilities across the country will close and three will have their accommodation capacity reduced to lower costs. The prisons that will close are Bullwood Hall, Canterbury, Gloucester, Kingston, Shepton Mallet and Shrewsbury, with Chelmsford, Hull and Isle of Wight to reduce capacity.
As part of the new plan, the Government has instigated a feasibility study to construct a new ‘super-prison’ with capacity for 2,000 prisoners. New accommodation blocks at Parc, Peterborough, The Mount and Thameside will also be introduced. Many of the UK’s prison facilities are outdated and therefore expensive to run; it is estimated that this countrywide initiative will save the UK approximately £63m per annum.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We have to bring down the cost of our prison system, much of which is old and expensive. But I never want the Courts to be in a position where they cannot send a criminal to prison because there is no place available. So we have to move as fast as we can to replace the older parts of our prison system. That’s why we are moving ahead with immediate plans for new prison capacity, as well as closing older and more expensive facilities.”