HMPs Guys Marsh (Dorset), Rye Hill (Warwickshire) and Stocken (Rutland) will benefit from additional houseblocks and High Down (Surrey) will get a new workshop – the latest step in a £2.5 billion commitment to create 10,000 modern prison places.
The new buildings will allow for more than 930 places, supporting the construction industry amid the Coronavirus pandemic and generating scores of long-term jobs in jails.
Planning permission is being sought for works to begin, and the first prisoners are expected to arrive from Winter 2022 at Rye Hill jail, and throughout 2023 at the remaining sites. Construction work across the 4 prisons is expected to cost around £200 million.
Prisons and Probation Minister, Lucy Frazer QC MP, said:
This significant step in our plan to transform the prison estate shows the government’s intention to invest in infrastructure, create jobs and to build back better for this country.
The new houseblocks will provide modern environments where we can effectively rehabilitate offenders and steer them away from crime.
The project will see capacity increase by 180 places at HMP Guys Marsh, 462 at HMP Rye Hill and 206 at HMP Stocken, where a further new houseblock was opened in June 2019. HMP High Down’s new workshop will free up space for 90 extra places in the existing prison building as it moves toward an extended focus on work and training opportunities for offenders.
The buildings are another major step in the programme to create 10,000 additional prison places, delivering modern jails that boost rehabilitation prospects and cut reoffending.
Four new prisons are to be built across England over the next 6 years. A new jail will be constructed at HMP Full Sutton, in East Yorkshire, and work is underway to identify sites in the North-West of England and the South-East.
In addition to the 4 new prisons, construction is well underway on HMP Five Wells, the new jail at Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and early works have started at Glen Parva, Leicestershire, to create two new 1,680-place category C resettlement prisons.
The new capacity underpins the government’s sweeping sentencing reforms, published in a landmark White Paper last month, which will see the most serious criminals serve longer behind bars.