Prison Estate Transformation Programme

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the progress of the Prison Estate Transformation Programme.

Photo of Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Prison Estate Transformation Programme (PETP) was set up in 2016 and intended to build 10,000 ‘new for old’ prison places, by addressing systematic challenges in the right supply and drivers of poor decency and safety across the prison estate, through reconfiguring the estate and providing state of the art, fit for purpose places that would have enabled closure of our oldest and least efficient prisons.

Due to pressures on the Ministry of Justice’s resource budget in March 2018, Ministers made a clear and conscious prioritisation decision not to deliver the PETP in full, removing c.6,500 places from the programme. The landscape is very different now. The Prime Minister has made clear his focus on tackling crime and delivering this is a major part of that reform. In Summer 2019, the PETP was retired and superseded by a new investment of up to £2.5 billion in a programme to create 10,000 additional prison places.

The PETP delivered a range of good outcomes, many of which have been influential in supporting the delivery of the new 10,000 additional prison place programme. The PETP:

  • Demolished two prisons that were not-fit for purpose and began construction of two 1,680 place resettlement prisons in their place, namely the former HMP Wellingborough (now HMP Five Wells) in Northamptonshire and the former HMYOI Glen Parva in Leicestershire. The new houseblock at HMP Stocken opened in June 2019 and the construction of the new prisons at HMP Five Wells and at Glen Parva are due to complete in late 2021 and early 2023 respectively. The PETP also secured outline planning permission for a third prison, the first prison to be built as part of the 10,000 additional prison places, at Full Sutton in Yorkshire.
  • Developed an innovative design for a Cat C resettlement prison following consultation with a multitude of experts in the criminal justice system, which is the baseline for our new prisons.
  • Created the Prison Operator Services Framework, increasing the diversity and resilience of the custodial services market in England and Wales, by creating a pool of prison operators who can provide high quality, value for money, custodial and maintenance services and enable us to effectively and efficiently manage a pipeline of competition for the potential operation of new prisons and private prisons whose PFI contract is soon to expire. The first mini-competition for the operation of HMP Five Wells has been successful and we are beginning mobilisation with the successful framework operator.
  • Commenced a programme for the reconfiguration of 24 prisons in the male prison estate (in the North East, South West and Wales) which have gone live introducing the new offender flows which underpin the offender management in custody model. Changed the function of three Local prisons to provide approx. 1,200 much needed Cat C trainer and resettlement places (Holme House), and approx. 1,300 Cat B trainer places (Woodhill and Manchester).
  • Closed the former HMP and YOI Holloway site and sold it with a receipt of £81.5m. The total income from all PETP sales was £104 million.
  • Created three Models for Operational Delivery (MODs) which provided best practice tool kits to support Governors in creating purposeful regimes for Reception, Trainer and Resettlement prisoners. Four specialist MODs (for men convicted of sexual offences, foreign national offenders, older prisoners and young adults) were also published.
  • Seven video conferencing centres (VCCs) were installed in prisons.

Lessons learned from the PETP are at the heart of our new 10,000 additional prison place programme. These places will be delivered through a combination of four new prison builds, and the expansion and refurbishment of the current estate. The 10,000 places are additional to the c.3,500 places we have previously committed to at HMP Five Wells, Glen Parva, and at HMP Stocken.

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