THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE has announced that London could be the home for a new 2,000 capacity ‘Super Prison’ as part of plans to modernise the nation’s prison estate.

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The giant-gaol will be housed in either London, north-west England or north Wales reports the BBC.

“The new developments will allow the Ministry of Justice to close six smaller, older and more expensive prisons, and to close parts of three others” the MofJ’s website said today.

Included in the plans is the aim to build four new ‘houseblocks’ nationwide including one at an existing facility at Thameside in London. The new Thameside prison will be home to 1,260 prisoners.

“We have to bring down the cost of our prison system, much of which is old and expensive” said Justice Secretary Chris Graylin.

“But I never want the Courts to be in a position where they cannot send a criminal to prison because there is no place available. So we have to move as fast as we can to replace the older parts of our prison system.”

“That’s why we are moving ahead with immediate plans for new prison capacity, as well as closing older and more expensive facilities.”

The UK’s prison population stood at 83,632 prisoners as of 4 January 2013, comprising 79,950 male prisoners and 3,882 female prisoners. Total prison capacity is currently 90,451.

Depending on future sentencing projections the Ministry of Justice predicts a prison population range of between 80,300 and 90,900 by June 2018.

Changes to prison capacity announced (Ministry of Justice)
Seven prison closures in England announced (BBC)
Prison population figures (Ministry of Justice)
Prison Population Projections 2012 – 2018, England and Wales (Ministry of Justice)

Photo Credit: Wormwood Scrubs Prison by Julian Tysoe, CC License