New and “enhanced” security features have been announced for the huge new prison being built in Yorkshire.
The Ministry of Justice shows no signs of slowing down its progress in planning and building the 1,400-person facility near HMP Full Sutton near York, despite the recent coronavirus pandemic.
The introduction of “modern” construction techniques will in fact minimize prison construction times in what has been described as a “big boost for the local economy”.
It is part of the government’s plans to increase the number of prisons by 10,000 across the country, costing £ 2.5 billion.
What we already know
- Plans to build a Category C prison next to the maximum security HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire were approved last year.
- The facility will open in 2024 and accommodate up to 1,440 prisoners.
- The plan was criticized by local residents and the chief superintendent of Humberside police, who said the prison would bring “significant additional demand” to the force.
- Three more prisons (one in the north-west of England and two in the south-east) will be built over the next six years as part of a £ 2.5 billion government program to create 10,000 new prison places nationwide.
The MoJ has announced that the Yorkshire prison will have “greater security in mind”.
- Barrier-free windows will be installed to “prevent waste from being expelled” and “prevent prisoners from accessing drugs and cell phones carried by drones.”
- High-speed network cables will be built to enable features such as “airport-type security scanning” to prevent smuggling of “illicit items” that “fuel violence”.
Will the planned “modern” construction methods benefit Yorkshire companies?
In September 2019, prison minister Lucy Frazer said that the facility “will create and support hundreds of jobs, during construction and thereafter, and will represent a major boost for the local economy.”
In the latest MoJ statement (June 28), Treasury chief secretary Stephen Barclay said that “new construction technology” will be used to build the four new prisons, leading to “faster assembly times” and “less energy consumption”.
He said: “Components such as concrete walls and water and electricity pipes are built by companies across the country using modern processes … and assembled on site. This in turn will ensure that the economic benefits of the investment will reach businesses across the country. ”
The MoJ claimed that this “modern” technology is currently being used to build a prison in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. It has not been outlined how the construction techniques mentioned would benefit Yorkshire companies
And the prisoners?
Prison minister Lucy Frazer said the four new prisons “will create environments in which offenders can be rehabilitated more effectively and removed from crime forever”.