An unprecedented expansion and refurbishment programme will create more than 4,000 new prison places across the country, the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab announced today (18 February 2022).
These new places are part of the government’s £4 billion investment to create 20,000 modern and innovative prison places, ensuring the right conditions are in place to truly rehabilitate prisoners.
This will give prisoners the education, skills and addiction support they need to live crime-free lives on release, helping to cut crime and protect the public.
The 4,000 places announced today will be created across 16 prisons through the building of new wings and refurbishing jails. They will create thousands of jobs for local communities, boosting economies.
Subject to planning permission, 8 prisons will receive new houseblocks while HMP High Down in Surrey will get a brand-new workshop.
The innovative designs will mean easier access to supporting facilities such as healthcare, kitchens and staff offices which will help to protect frontline staff and clamp down on crime behind bars.
New workshops and classrooms will also see offenders getting vital work and training so they are able to find employment on release.
Seven other prisons will also receive comprehensive refurbishments part of a wider £150 million investment in the estate to help bring all jails into the 21st century.
Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, said:
Our unprecedented prison-building programme is the largest in more than a century and will deliver an additional 20,000 prison places by the mid-2020s.
We are improving our existing prison estate, putting more offenders behind bars, training them for release and protecting the public.
Today’s news is the latest step in the government’s commitment to create 20,000 modern and innovative prison places by the mid-2020s.
Construction at 2 new prisons, which are part of the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to build 6 modern jails, has already created more than 500 jobs and over 70 apprenticeships When the two prisons open, they are expected to offer over a thousand permanent jobs – providing a significant boost to the local economy. Thousands of jobs will also be created at the 16 sites planned for expansion through the building process and the additional prison officer roles required.
- The prison population is expected to increase by 19,000 by the mid-2020s as the government cracks down on crime and recruits 20,000 new police officers.
- At the same time in its recent Prisons White Paper, the Ministry of Justice pledged to commence a large-scale recruitment campaign for up to 5,000 additional prison officers in public and private prisons by the mid-2020s.
- All plans to refurbish and expand existing jails will be subject to planning permissions but the department already has planning for 5 of the prisons, HMPs Stocken, Guys Marsh, High Down, Birmingham and Liverpool.
- The Ministry of Justice has previously announced that 4 prisons would be expanded to increase prison capacity. Today’s announcement builds on this, with a total of 16 sites being expanded and refurbished as part of the drive to create 20,000 new prison places by mid-2020s.
- The 7 refurbishment sites are HMPs Norwich, Feltham, Aylesbury, Haverigg and Swinfen Hall, Liverpool and Birmingham. Four have already been completed.
- Sites due to receive additional houseblocks are HMPs Bullingdon, Channings Wood, Elmley, Highpoint, Hindley, Wayland, Guys Marsh, High Down (in the form of a workshop) and Stocken.