An “unprecedented” refurbishment and expansion programme will create more than 4,000 additional prison places. The government says the move is part of a wider strategy to “rehabilitate offenders and cut crime”.

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Rehabilitate prisoners

Seven of Her Majesty’s prisons are being refurbished. A further eight prisons are due to receive new house blocks, subject to planning permission being granted. This will this create an extra 4,000 prison places.

The government says the building works have an innovative design. The aim is to produce an environment in which prisoners can be rehabilitated. The new house blocks, for example, will have workshops and classrooms. These provide space for prisoners to access education, receive addiction support and learn new skills. It is hoped this will reduce the likelihood of offenders returning to crime once they leave prison.

Which prisons are getting an upgrade?

The eight prisons that will receive new house blocks, subject to planning permission, are HMPs:

  • Bulligdon
  • Channings Wood
  • Elmley
  • Highpoint
  • Hindley
  • Wayland
  • Guys March
  • Stocken

HMP High Down will also get a new workshop. The seven prisons undergoing refurbishment are HMPs:

  • Norwich
  • Feltham
  • Aylesbury
  • Haverigg
  • Swinfen Hall
  • Liverpool
  • Birmingham

Prison population to increase

This expansion programme is part of the government’s wider plan to create 20,000 additional prison places. It’s estimated that the prison population will increase by 19,000 in the next few years, so the extra space is essential. An additional 5,000 prison officers will be recruited to manage the rise in prisoner numbers.

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