Plans for prison reform announced today could save £450 million over the next six years, the Ministry of Justice said after private firm G4S lost its contract to run the Wolds prison.
The ongoing competition process for four prisons had "produced a compelling package of reforms for delivering cost reduction, improvements to regimes and a working prisons model in these prisons", the MoJ said.
The Government's decision to hand over prisons to the private sector was "a mistake of Olympic proportions", said the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform after G4S lost one of its contracts:
The Government will seek to deflect criticism of its prison privatisation programme by excluding G4S from the next stage of the bidding process, but the principle of awarding lucrative contracts to private companies running prisons on the cheap remains unchallenged
Private firms are often much better at winning contracts than delivering the goods, but the criteria for these decisions have not been made public.
– Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform
G4S, the firm at the centre of the Olympics security shambles, has lost its contract to run the Wolds Prison in East Yorkshire and it will return to the public sector next year, the Ministry of Justice said.