HC Deb 20 January 1949 vol 460 c57W
77 and 78. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what classes of prisoners it is intended to send to the Verne, Portland, now and ultimately; in what numbers; to what extent the prisoners will be employed outside the Verne; and on what work;

(2) if he will make a statement on the reasons why the Verne, Portland, has been acquired by the Prison Commission; what reconstruction work is now proceeding there; and how soon it is intended to use it as a prison.

Mr. Ede

The Verne has been acquired to assist in relieving the general overcrowding of prisons and in providing the additional accommodation which will be required to meet the requirements of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948. No reconstruction work is now proceeding and little will be required. It is intended initially to use the prison as a training centre for selected prisoners from prisons in the South West, and a small pioneer party will arrive on 1st February. As soon as possible some 100 men of the star class from prisons in the area will be sent there, and the ultimate population of the training centre will be about 300. At a later stage the Verne may be used for some other purpose, but no decision on this has yet been taken. No arrangements for prisoners to work outside the Verne have yet been considered.