Four new prisons are to be built across England over the next six years – boosting efforts to cut crime and kickstart the economy.
The first new jail will be built next to HMP Full Sutton, in East Yorkshire, and work is underway to identify locations for a further prison in the North-West of England and two in the South-East.
Thousands of jobs will be created overall in the areas surrounding the prisons during construction and once they have opened. This will provide a major spur to local economies and support the construction industry to invest and innovate following the Coronavirus pandemic.
These prisons are another major step in the Government’s £2.5 billion programme to create 10,000 additional prison places. This will deliver modern jails that boost rehabilitation and cut reoffending – providing improved security and additional training facilities to help offenders find employment on release.
Prisons and Probation Minister, Lucy Frazer QC MP, said: “These new jails form a major part of our plans to transform the prison estate and create environments where offenders can be more effectively rehabilitated and turned away from crime for good.
As well as a boost to our justice system, these prisons will create thousands of new jobs and send a clear signal that the Government can and will continue to invest in the vital infrastructure this country needs.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay MP, said: “We are not only delivering on our commitment to provide 10,000 more prison places but also signalling a shift in how we build public buildings through a major increase in factory-built, modern methods of construction.
Building on lessons from recent school construction, this will be part of a much wider change, to be embedded at the next comprehensive spending review, ensuring public buildings benefit from the quicker assembly times, lower energy use, and stronger green footprint offered by new construction technology.”
The new jails will be built more quickly, sustainably and cost-effectively than ever before. This is thanks to modern construction methods and new technology that have already been incorporated into the new prison being built at Wellingborough. Components, such as concrete walls, and pipework for water and electricity are built by companies around the country using modern, standardised processes and assembled on site. This, in turn, will ensure the economic benefits of the investment will reach firms across the country.
The new prisons are designed with enhanced security in mind. Bar-less windows will stop waste being thrown out and prevent prisoners from accessing drugs and mobile phones flown in by drones. High-speed network cabling will also be incorporated to enable modern security measures such as airport-style security scanning, to prevent the smuggling of the illicit items that fuel violence.
While the operators of the prisons will be announced in due course, the Government is committed to using the innovation, knowledge and expertise of the private and public sectors to deliver the best rehabilitation. It is the Government’s intention that at least one prison will be operated by the public sector.
In addition to the four new prisons, construction is well underway at Wellingborough, in Northamptonshire, and early works have started at Glen Parva, Leicestershire, to create two new 1,680-place category C resettlement prisons.