HC Deb 27 April 1972 vol 835 cc1744-7
8. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the progress of the prison building programme.

Mr. Maudling

Good progress is being made. I will with permission circulate a detailed statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Can my right hon. Friend say something about the London prisons? Is not it both urgent and desirable to close down Pentonville and Brixton as soon as possible and to build a new London prison by the end of the 1970s?

Mr. Maudling

The difficulty is that prison accommodation in this country is so heavily overcrowded that we must concentrate first on reducing the number of prisoners sharing cells. That will take a long time, despite the rapidly increased prison-building programme. Only then shall we be able to dispose of old-fashioned accommodation.

Mr. Lipton

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider taking steps to reduce the number of people on remand in custody? I know of one case where a

At the end of the financial year 1971–72 work was in progress on the following new establishments or extensions to existing establishments. The list indicates where buildings are already occupied
Place Size and Type of Establishment
Acklington, Northumberland 450 Category C prison. First inmates April. 1972.
Dover, Kent 60 New borstal house.
Erlestoke, Wiltshire 100 Extension to Detention Centre.
Glen Parva, Leicestershire 840 Young Offender complex.
Haverigg, Cumberland 150 Extension to Category C prison.
Long Lartin, Worcestershire 492 Category B prison. First inmates January. 1971
Maidstone, Kent 115 Additions to prison.
Norwich, Norfolk 120 Extension to prison. First inmates January. 1972
Portland, Dorset 72 New borstal house.
Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire 80 Extension to remand centre.
Ranby, Nottinghamshire 375 Category C prison. First inmates June, 1971
Rochester, Kent 60 New borstal house.
Rochester, Kent 120 New remand centre.
Thorp Arch, West Riding 75 Extension to remand centre.
Wrabness, Essex 816 Category C prison.
Work was also in progress on the complete redevelopment of Holloway prison for women.
2. It is hoped that work will start in the financial year 1972–73 on the following new establishments Or extensions to existing establishments.
Place Size and Type of Establishment
Blundeston, Suffolk 120 New cell block to prison.
Bristol, Gloucestershire 192 New cell block to prison.
Camp Hill, Isle of Wight 160 New cell block to prison.
Deerbolt, North Riding 420 Young offender establishment.
Denbury, Devon 484 Category C prison.
Hollesley Bay, Suffolk 185 New unit to borstal.
Lockwood, Oxfordshire 507 Category B prison.
Northeye, Sussex 200 Extension to Category C prison.
Norwich, Norfolk 60 Remand centre.
Stoke Heath, Shropshire 120 New borstal house.
Ulnes Walton, Lancashire 816 Category C prison.
The Verne, Dorset 160 New cell block to prison
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire 120 New borstal house.

man has been in Brixton prison since January, when he was arrested, and he is not likely to be tried until September or October of this year.

Mr. Maudling

We have been considering this. I said something about bail hostels a little while ago, and there are provisions in the Criminal Justice Bill which will help in this direction.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

We appreciate what the right hon. Gentleman has said about bail hostels. Will he consider the purchase of suitable buildings for this purpose to relieve overcrowding in our prisons? Has there been a review of the policy of sending prisoners to open prisons with a view to trying to fill them and relieve overcrowding, especially in local prisons and category C prisons?

Mr. Maudling

The second possibility is in our minds, but it has considerable difficulties in practice. I shall be glad to consider the first point.

Following is the information:

3. Planning clearance is held in principle for the following major schemes on which it is hoped to start work in the period 1973–74 to 1975–76.
Place Size and Type of Establishment
Acklington, Northumberland 300 Young offender establishment.
Eastchurch, Kent 816 Category C prison.
Feltham, Middlesex 1,000 Young offender complex.
Featherstone, Staffordshire 484 Category C prison.
Gartree, Leicester 816 Category C prison.
Griston, Norfolk 484 Category C prison.
Hollesley Bay, Suffolk 300 Addition to young offender complex.
Low Newton, Durham 465 Category B prison.
Stocken Hall, Rutland 600 Young offender establishments.
Stradishall, Suffolk 500 Category C (later Category B) prison.
Tudworth Hall, West Riding 300 Young offender establishment.
West Mailing, Kent 450 Young offender establishment.
4. Planning clearance has been sought, or informal discussions opened with the planning authority, in respect of a number of further proposals including those listed below. If planning clearance is obtained it is hoped that a start could be made on these proposals in the period 1974–75–1976–77.
Place Size and Type of Establishment
Bovingdon, Hertfordshire 484 Category C prison.
Duxford, Cambridgeshire 600 Young Offender establishment.
Everthorpe, East Riding 300 Young Offender establishment
Full Sutton, East Riding 465 Category B prison, and
484 Category C prison.
Hewell Grange, Worcestershire 300 Young Offender establishment.
North Coates, Lincolnshire 500 Category C (later Category B) prison.
North Weald, Essex 360 Remand centre.
5. A major part of the prison building programme will continue to be devoted to improvement of facilities at existing institutions. Some schemes providing more accommodation for inmates have been listed at 1 and 2 above. Other schemes provide new workshops, upgrading of works services, improved security and extensive refurbishing. Examples of schemes now in progress, or on which it is hoped to start work in the financial year 1972–73, are:
Cardiff Improvements.
Chelmsford prison Boiler house.
Exeter prison Workshop
Kingston (Portsmouth) prison Reconstruction.
Lincoln prison Boiler house.
Liverpool prison First phase of redevelopment.
Lewes prison Workshop
Parkhurst prison Association and dining facilities etc.
Reading prison Reconstruction.
Stafford prison Conversion of factory to workshop.
Wakefield prison Gate and reception facilities.
Wandsworth prison Gate and perimeter security.
Wormwood Scrubs prison Improvements.
6. Expenditure on the erection and purchase of quarters for staff at existing establishments continues at a cost of over £2 million a year.
Forward to