Plans for the largest prison in the UK have been proposed, which will be home to 2,000 inmates.
The ‘super prison’ has been pencilled in for construction in either London, the North West or North Wales. The building is hoped to provide a more cost-efficient method of rehabilitation.
Set to be larger than HMP Oakwood in Wolverhampton, the super prison will hold approximately 25 per cent more inmates.
With this construction, seven old jails across the UK would be subject to closure. But, on current sites such as Parc in South Wales, Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, The Mount in Herefordshire and Thameside in London, there are set to be four mini-prisons built in place. These will alternatively be known as houseblocks.
The decommissioning of 200 contractually crowded places at private prisons will take place, following plans to turn a Young Offenders Institution at HMP Ashfield into a full adult prison.
To determine a confirmed proposal location for construction of the super prison, a feasibility study will take place. The affect a prison will have on the local community is one aspect that may be challenged during the public consultations.
In the previous government, a similar prison proposal was launched, which suggested the construction of three 2,500 capacity prisons. The £2.9 billion project was eventually scrapped, but the original feasibility study found that construction in London would perhaps be too costly. Wales might also miss out as there currently less than 2,000 people currently in prison in the principality.
It is as yet unknown how long consultations will last. The projects are set to stimulate many construction jobs across the country, in both the super prison and the mini-prisons. In addition to being cheaper for the prison service, there are other expected benefits in regards to providing a more beneficial rehabilitation option for occupants.