§ Mr. John Browne
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider using the redundant Army barracks and air and sea stations as prisons for low category prisoners as a short-term measure to relieve overcrowding in prisons such as Winchester.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
[holding answer 15 July 1991]: The use of military accommodation to hold prisoners would be justifiable only if the prison population was so high that it could not be contained within the operational capacity of the prison service. Winchester prison, as with many local prisons serving the courts, has a population which exceeds its certified normal accommodation but is less than its operational capacity. Over the next two years, 10 new local prisons and remand centres will be opening, and these will make a major impact on overcrowding in local prisons.