HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc221-2W
Mr. McGuire

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his plans for open prisons and borstals.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Open establishments for adult and young offenders will continue to make an important contribution to the prison system. But with the reduction in the prison population, and the increased use of non-custodial penalties, both of which I welcome, I am satisfied that it is no longer necessary or economic to maintain the present number of open establishments. The working of the parole system together with the development of non-custodial treatment inevitably makes its primary impact upon the need for open accommodation.

I therefore intend, over the coming months, to close the open prisons at Bela River, Drake Hall and Haldon Camp and to dispose of sites; and to close the open prison at Spring Hill and the open borstals at Morton Hall and Pollington, but to retain the sites for possible future development for other purposes. I recognise the excellent work which these establishments and their staffs have been doing but I have had to look at the prison system as a whole and to see that the available resources of money and manpower are deployed to meet changing needs.