HC Deb 05 May 1964 vol 694 c156W
Mr. Lubbock

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the proposals made for the reorganisation of Pentonville Prison, details of which have been sent to him.

Mr. Brooke

The proposal in question is that Pentonville should be divided into four self-contained units providing more individual treatment for the prisoners and mole open conditions for those not requiring full security. It is not practicable to undertake any major reconstruction of the prison until further progress has become possible in getting rid of the present overcrowding in the local prisons. Pentonville was designed for 850 prisoners. Two years ago there were 1,300 there. That has now been reduced to 1,000, through the building of new prisons, the transfer away of those who ought not to be in a local prison, and the greater use of open prisons. Conditions at Pentonville are steadily being improved, but its division into four self-contained units would involve an amount of physical reconstruction much greater than the author of the proposal realises, or than the limited future life of the present buildings would justify.