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Privately Financed Prisons - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:37 pm on 27th June 2018.

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Photo of Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Justice) 3:37 pm, 27th June 2018

My Lords, new, modern prison places are sorely needed, but do not the failed Carillion maintenance contract, the CRC contracts that we have just discussed and other MoJ contracts show how far the ministry needs to take a serious look at its contracting procedures, just as Rory Stewart accepted when he was before the Justice Committee yesterday, assessing tenders in a realistic and much more rigorous way? How does the department propose to improve its contracting procedures for these new prisons? Furthermore, Mr Gauke’s effort to get prisoner numbers down by cutting the number of short sentences, saving money in the process, is welcome. What proposals do the Government have to ensure that their prison building programme seeks to combine cutting numbers with transforming prisons, in both public and private sectors, to focus on rehabilitation and training rather than just containment and punishment?