To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2018 to Question 165655, on prisons, whether the 10,000 additional places will (a) add to current capacity, (b) replace some existing capacity or (c) achieve a combination of replacing existing capacity and increasing current capacity.
In my answer to Question 165655 I reiterated the commitment to delivering up to 10,000 modern, safe and decent prison places previously announced by this Government. The Prison Estate Transformation Programme is largely designed to replace existing capacity, although we anticipate it will also increase current capacity. Our objective remains to close the least fit for purpose prison accommodation while ensuring we continue to meet demand.
Prison population and capacity are kept under careful review to ensure that there is always sufficient capacity. Any decisions on the future size of the prison estate will reflect the current and projected prison population, including an assessment of the necessary margin to manage population fluctuations.