Prison Capacity

Justice – in the House of Commons on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Atherton Sarah Atherton Conservative, Wrexham

What progress his Department has made during the covid-19 outbreak on meeting its commitment to increase prison capacity.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

What steps he is taking to increase prison capacity.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Mr Speaker, I know the subject of court reopenings is very close to your heart.

To support the Prime Minister’s commitment to crack down on crime, we are investing up to £2.5 billion to provide 10,000 additional prison places. Construction for our prison at Wellingborough has continued safely since restrictions were imposed in March, and in May we started on early works for our prison in Glen Parva.

Photo of Sarah Atherton Sarah Atherton Conservative, Wrexham

Will my hon. and learned Friend please provide an update on the women’s residential centre pilot scheme, which is due to be located in Wales?

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

As my hon. Friend will know, on 5 May I announced our commitment to locate the first residential women’s centre in Wales, and we are now working closely with our Welsh partners to develop a detailed proposal for the site in Wales. Our intention is for that to open by the end of 2021. I am grateful for her continued interest, and I look forward to meeting her to discuss it next week.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

No additional capacity will be had by increasing early release, will it?

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

As my right hon. Friend will know, we have tried to increase headroom in the estate through a variety of mechanisms, and our early release scheme is one of those. We are continuing to operate that scheme.