Prison staff held a protest in Northallerton today. The prison is due to close, with the loss of almost 200 jobs. The Government wants to close four prisons in total, in favour of two new high-capacity 'superjails'.
Staff are being offered relocation, but with the nearest jail over an hour away, it's feared many will have little choice but to choose redundancy.
Staff have held a protest outside Northallerton Prison which is to close with the loss of almost 200 jobs. The Government wants to close four prisons in total, in favour of two new high capacity 'superjails'.
Staff are being offered relocation, but with the nearest jail over an hour away, it's feared many will have little choice but to choose redundancy. The Union leader held an open meeting early this morning and our correspondent Rachel Bullock was there:
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has told ITV News that the Government's modernisation plans for prisons, which will see Northallerton Prison close, will save around 30 million pounds a year from the prisons' budget.
Once again the Ministry of Justice has paid lip service to the well-being and stability of the professional men and women working in an overcrowded and violent environment. The POA has worked with this Government in its attempt to save money and stopping wholesale privatisation, but prison closures will do nothing for the morale of prison officers. The Government claim to have around 4,000 space headroom, this is only spin and not accurate.
– POA General Secretary Steve Gillan
The announcement today is short sighted and will have a significant impact on the public sector prison service. Prison officers and their families will once again face the uncertainly of where they will be working in the future. The Government prison closure policy is cuts driven and does nothing for the rehabilitation revolution. These prisons have played a pivotal role in the criminal justice system and this announcement is an absolute disgrace.
The POA has condemned the announcement by the Secretary of State for Justice that he intends to close four prisons - including one in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.
It says the prison service is in crisis, with staffing levels and morale at an all-time low and that the closures come "at a time when 20,000 prisoners are being held in an overcrowded prison estate, alongside the unacceptable level of violence and serious assults."
The Government has announced that HM Prison Northallerton is one of four prisons due to close, as it confirms plans to build two new "super" jails in England and Wales.
Northallerton - a male Young Offenders Institution - will close along with Blundeston in Suffolk, Dorchester in West Dorset, and Reading. The announcement was made as the MoJ confirmed plans to build a 2,000-place new prison in Wrexham, North Wales.