To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to modernise prisons.
3 March 2021
Providing safe, decent, and secure prisons is a key priority for the Government. We are taking a number of steps to modernise our prisons, including building new prison places and increasing our investment in refurbishment and maintenance to upgrade the existing estate.
As announced at the spending review, we have committed over £4 billion capital funding to make significant progress in delivering 18,000 additional prison places across England and Wales by the mid-2020s, and £315m to improve the prison estate. These 18,000 prison places include 10,000 places being made available through the construction of four new prisons; the expansion of a further four prisons; refurbishment of the existing prison estate and the completion of our ongoing prison builds at Glen Parva and HMP Five Wells.
Digital technologies will also contribute to the Government’s modernisation of prisons. Access to modern, robust technology is a vital part of current prison design. During the pandemic, HMPPS delivered unprecedented digital innovation through the rollout of secure video call technology into every single prison in the male, female and youth estate, with 124,000 calls made as of 22nd February 2021. We are committed to expanding the use of digital technology in the existing estate and future prisons, including in-cell technology for prisoners.