Prison Buildings (Expenditure)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley 12:00 am, 26th January 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money has been spent on prison buildings during each of the last five years.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

As the Answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley

Will my right hon. Friend take advantage of one of the useful by-products of the malicious Press campaign in regard to prison escapes—the way in which it has drawn attention to the need to spend more money on prisons? What steps is he taking to replace such antiquated prisons as Dartmoor and Strangeways, which is in my constituency?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

I would like to replace many prisons, some of which are 100 years old and some of which, like Dartmoor, are 150 years old. One of the great problems is the mounting prison population, which presses on such replacements as we can make. I hope that, as a result of the recent concentration of public attention on this issue, we shall be able to make some progress.

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

Was not the prison programme announced by the then Home Secretary in 1958–59 to provide increasing expenditure on prison building over the following 10 years? In view of the fact that the crime wave has increased steadily since then, would the right hon. Gentleman say how he justifies postponing or cutting back any part of that programme?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

As I told the House previously, we are looking at the matter in the light of the Mountbatten Report.

Following is the information for prison service establishments in England and Wales:

Financial yearAmount £
1962–635,248,229
1963–646,317,635
1964–655,198,747
1965–664,325,676
1966–674,910,000 (a)

NOTE.—(a) provision in financial estimates.