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Prisons: Overcrowding

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL11934, tabled on 29 November 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have made to address the issue of overcrowding in prisons.

Answered on

6 December 2018

As part of prison reform, the long-term goal is to reduce crowding, while maintaining sufficient capacity in the prison estate to manage the demands of the courts and the sentenced population as efficiently as possible. This level is kept under constant review, considering fluctuations in the prison population and useable capacity across the estate. Prison governors ensure that the level of operational capacity is set to reflect the provision of safe and decent accommodation and the operation of suitable regimes and that levels of crowding in prisons are carefully managed.

The Government is committed to delivering up to 10,000 decent uncrowded prison places providing the physical conditions for Governors to achieve better educational, training and rehabilitative outcomes. We will reform and modernise our prison estate, starting with the construction of two new 1,680-place prisons at the former HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Glen Parva and former HM Prison Wellingborough as well as a new houseblock at HM Prison Stocken which will create 206 modern prison places and is expected to open in early 2019. In July 2018, The Verne, a former HM Prison and Probation Service operated immigration removal centre in Dorset, reopened as a prison and can hold up to 580 offenders.