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More prison places promised

A new prison will be built at HMP Full Sutton, alongside the maximum-security jail at the site, part of a Government promise of 10,000 extra prison places. Those will be in addition to new prisons already announced, at Wellingborough and Glen Parva, which will provide 3,360 places by 2023. The new funding will also be used to bring previously decommissioned prison places back into use through extensive refurbishment and maintenance work.

The Government says that ensuring prisons have capacity to hold the additional offenders who will be caught, charged and sentenced is a crucial part of the effort to create a more effective justice system. Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, said: “The Prime Minister is putting prisons at the heart of our bold plan to create a justice system which cuts crime and protects law-abiding people. More and better prison places means less re-offending and a lower burden on the taxpayer in the future.

“Boris’s vision for policing shows this Government is serious about fighting crime. It is vital we have a world-leading prison estate to keep criminals off our streets and turn them into law-abiding citizens when they have paid their debt to society. Modern jails are best-placed to achieve that and will provide us with crucial stability in our prison estate for many years to come so we can keep criminals behind bars, rehabilitate them, and better protect the public.”

For Labour, Richard Burgon, Shadow Justice Secretary, said: “We’ve seen Tories before who talked tough on justice but failed to bring down the number of victims of crime. If Boris Johnson thinks that building more and more prisons will address this he is sadly mistaken. We need a government with a strategy to reduce the number of victims by addressing the causes of crime rather than simply repeating the mistakes of the past.”

On a typical day, more than 18,000 prisoners are crammed into cells holding too many people, according to a recent report on overcrowding by the charity the Howard League. Among jails named with particularly high numbers of prisoners in overcrowded cells was Pentonville in north London, pictured. Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League, pointed to a ‘clear relationship with overcrowding and violence in prisons’.


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