Liz Truss to set out prison closure plan later this year

Justice secretary confirms move as planning permission sought for four new jails

By Richard Johnstone

22 Mar 2017

Justice secretary Liz Truss is to set out plans for prison closures later this year as part of a £1.3bn estate revamp plan.

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Truss today announced that the Ministry of Justice was seeking planning permission to build two new prisons and redevelop two more.

The new jails will be built in Yorkshire, adjacent to HMP Full Sutton, and in Port Talbot, South Wales, while existing prisons at Rochester in Kent and Hindley, near Wigan will be extensively redeveloped.

Setting out further details of its proposals, the MoJ confirmed that valuations of the whole estate were now underway, and an announcement on closures would be made later in the year.

According to the department, any prisons that are shut will be replaced by new institutions as part of the government’s pledge to build 10,000 modern prisoner places by 2020.

Truss said today’s announcement would provide 5,000 places, while 2,000 jobs will be created during construction.

Until prisons became places of reform “where hard work and self-improvement flourish”, it would not be possible to reduce reoffending, she said.

“Outdated prisons, with dark corridors and cramped conditions, will not help offenders turn their back on crime – nor do they provide our professional and dedicated prison officers with the right tools or environment to do their job effectively,” she added

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