Lincoln MP Karl McCartney says he has had talks with the Ministry of Justice about its ongoing review of the city's prison which could result in the site being closed or turned into an immigration removal centre. He is urging those conducting the review to retain the prison in its current state.
The Prison Officers' Association says it hopes its members will be able to join forces with the other people campaigning to keep Lincoln Prison open following news that its future is under review. Spokesperson Joe Simpson says at the moment they are just dealing with rumours about its future.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney says he has had several discussions this week about the future of the city's prison following reports that it is under review but says he understands no decisions have yet been made.
– Lincoln MP Karl McCartney
Currently the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is in the early stages of a limited restructuring process for the country’s prisons and I have been reassured that no hard-and-fast decisions whatsoever have been made as yet, especially in relation to our prison in Lincoln. The department are considering a number of changes across the whole prison system, right across the country and if the MoJ do propose any changes to the role that Lincoln Prison currently provides, then they will consult with both me, and interested parties locally.
The leader of Lincolnshire County Council says Lincoln needs to retain a remand prison. Councillor Martin Hill says anything less than that will affect the area's ability to deliver justice and will also harm the local economy. His comments come as it is confirmed the city's jail is under review.
The Prison Service has confirmed that it is reviewing the future of Lincoln Prison but insists no decisions have yet been made about its future and that there are currently no plans to close the site.
– Prison Service spokesperson
We are considering changes to the future role of HMP Lincoln. No decisions have been made and there are currently no plans to close the prison. We are committed to ensuring our estate meets the needs of the prison population and best suits the current capacity. Any changes to the role of HMP Lincoln would also need to incorporate the ongoing requirement to deliver prisoners to and from the area’s courts.
Lincolnshire County Council says it understands plans are being discussed that could see Lincoln Prison closed. The Ministry of Justice is carrying out a review of jails and is considering the future of the site on Greetwell Road which, if it remains open, could be downgraded to a category C site.
A final decision on the future of the prison is expected to be announced over the next ten days. While that review carries on, the leader of Lincolnshire County Council has written to the Justice Minister Chris Grayling to voice his opposition to the change.
– Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr Martin Hill
There’s a real need for a prison in Lincoln. It’s essential for driving down re-offending rates and making sure justice is delivered locally. If we lost the prison, there would also be a significant impact on the county economy. Not only does the prison employ hundreds of people, it also contributes more than £11m to the local economy each year. The prison has spent £26m on improvements over the last three years. Given that investment it makes sense to continue using it as a prison. It wasn’t designed to be an immigration centre, and isn’t suited for that purpose.