HL Deb 24 July 1991 vol 531 cc55-7WA
Lord Brougham and Vaux

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will announce the outcome of the future review of the prison estate.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers)

My right honourable friend, the Home Secretary announced on 19th December last year the outcome of a review of the prison service estate which had been conducted in 1990. My right honourable friend said then that there would be a further review in the light of the projections of the prison population which

HMYOI Castington To be retained as a young offender institution.
HMYOI Deerbolt Establishment of a juvenile unit within existing buildings (in 1992/93).
HMP Nottingham To be retained as a training establishment.
HMYOI Lancaster Farms To be used as a remand centre as well as a young offender institution (in 1992/93).
HMP Risley To be used as both a local and training prison as new accommodation comes into use.
HMP Leeds To be used as both a training and a local prison as new accommodation comes into use.
HMP Stafford To postpone part conversion to local prison to 1995/96.
HMP Gloucester To convert from local prison to a remand centre (in 1992/93).
HMYOI Eastwood Park To close as a young offender institution (in 1992/93) and re-open as a female establishment (in 1993/94).
HMYOI Hollesley Bay Colony To convert to part adult use (in 1992/93).
HMP Bedford To convert partly to a remand centre (in 1992/93).
HMP Reading To convert to a remand centre (in 1992/93).
HMP Elmley To open as part local and part category C training prison (in 1991/92).

would be available in early 1991. Revised projections were published on 21st May and a copy is in the Library.

The further review has now reached its consultative stage. It has taken into account:

The new projections;

The opening between April this year and 1993 of 10 local prisons and remand centres; and

The accelerated programme to end slopping out by the end of 1994, which I announced on 25th February.

My right honourable friend also asked the prison service to have regard to the relevant proposals in the report of Lord Justice Woolf and Judge Stephen Tumim on the prison disturbances in April 1990 (Cm 1456) in particular the removal of unsuitable prisons from the estate and the development of a prison or cluster of prisons which would serve most of the needs of a community. The proposals for the prison estate arising from this review are consistent with the approach suggested by Woolf. Planning is founded on geographical clusters of establishments and my proposals are aimed at improving the balance of accommodation in each of the main areas of population.

All of the following proposals will be subject to full consultation with staff and other interests.

At this stage fifteen establishments could be affected by proposed changes in their role as follows:

HMP Coldingley To convert from a category B to a category C training prison (in 1992/93).
HMYOI Guys Marsh To convert partly to a remand centre (in 1992/93).

It is also proposed that the following establishments should close, mainly because the quality of their living accommodation renders them unsuitable for continued prison service use:

  • HMYOI Kirklevington Grange
  • HMYOI Werrington
  • HMYOI Hewell Grange
  • HMYOI Finnamore Wood Camp
  • HMRC Pucklechurch
  • HMP Oxford
  • HMP Aldington

These closures would take place in 1992–93, except for that of HM RC Pucklechurch which would close in 1993–94. In addition some units at HMP Drake Hall, HMP Highpoint and HMP Norwich would also close.

Making the best use of the estate is of course a matter of continuing concern and activity, for example adjusting catchment areas for prisons which serve the courts. In the light of this my right honourable friend may want to make further proposals for changing the use of the estate in due course.

We are seeking the views of staff, boards of visitors and the trade unions on these proposals and have placed in the Library copies of a background note to them.

When these consultations are complete, we shall make a further announcement.