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Prison Accommodation

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 30757, tabled on 17 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the capacity of the prison estate in each of the next 12 months.

Answered on

25 March 2020

Prison numbers can fluctuate, which is why we have a robust set of plans in place to ensure we will always have enough places for offenders sent to custody by the courts.

Over the next 12 months, additional capacity will come in to use for a range of reasons. These reasons include new build prison accommodation, existing accommodation returning to use following the completion of essential maintenance or places coming into use following a change in function. Over the next 12 months around 260 further places are planned to come into use at HMP/YOI Berwyn as part of its staged ramp up to full capacity and around 220 further places are planned to come into use at HMP Haverigg following its change in function from a category C training prison to a category D open prison.

Places can also be taken out of use for a number of reasons. These include the recent operational closure of a 200 place open unit at HMP Hewell following a deterioration in the standard and condition of the accommodation. Other decreases are the result of accommodation being taken out of use for essential maintenance/refurbishment.

We are also investing up to £2.5bn to provide 10,000 additional prison places to ensure we have the prison places we need to manage incoming demand. The new 10,000 additional places are on top of the 3,500 places we have already announced through the building of new prisons at Wellingborough and Glen Parva, and the opening of additional accommodation at HMP Stocken. Under our plans for the prison estate, additional capacity will be provided through our new prisons and the creation of purpose-built houseblocks to manage the projected population increase and transform the estate.