Outrage as UK Government admits that new prisons are designed to be overcrowded
The UK press has been full of prisons this week. The first breaking story was about how soft the UK’s prisons are with many inmates forgoing parole opportunities and staying in for their full term. Even more incredible was the revelation that people had even been caught breaking into prisons.
Countering this was a depressing revelation that the UK Government’s new generation of Titan prisons was going to have overcrowding built into the design. The first of a chain of “super jails” has been designed with a capacity of 2,100 places for over 2,500 inmates. This admission is a clear signal that the privately financed scheme has no interest in rehabilitation, the key driver behind the UK’s burgeoning prison population. The forecast is for 13,000 places before 2014.
The UK’s prison service has clearly failed with re-offending rates of 65% - 80%. This week Martha Lane Fox (founder of Last Minute.com) in exasperation said, “It costs £100,000 to keep an offender locked up, with these rates, we may as well just give them the money, it would probably work better”
One of the UK’s most visionary architects has strong views on prison design and recently launched an initiative called Creative Prisons, aimed at challenging current attitudes to prisoner rehabilitation.
In an exclusive interview, Will Alsop talks to WAN about how architecture could change the tide…
Illustrated left is Will Alsop's vision for Creative Prisons
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