Prisons: Overcrowding — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords on 10th December 2008.

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Photo of Lord Bach Lord Bach Government Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

My Lords, it is vital that we plan to build the prison places that we expect we will need. We are committed to providing enough prison places for those who should be behind bars: the most dangerous, the seriously persistent offenders and the most violent. The Government make no apology for saying that prison is the right place for such people and, in doing so, we are committed to delivering value for money. We believe that what the noble Baroness described as Titan prisons—I prefer to call them prison clusters—offer the best value-for-money solution for providing additional capacity and to modernise the prison estate. It is not just about additional capacity. These prisons will enable us to seize an important opportunity to modernise the estate by decommissioning worn-out, ineffective prisons and using these gains in efficiency to support improvements in the delivery of what we all want to see: rehabilitation by delivering the interventions that help prisoners away from a life of crime.