The Prison Service have released the following statement to ITV News about the proposed closure of Northallerton Prison under the Government's new plans to replace them with 'super-prisons'.
“The decision to close Northallerton is based on the suitability of the accommodation and the current levels of capacity in the region - it is not a reflection of the current performance of the establishment or its staff. “We have successfully managed prison closures to avoid compulsory redundancies and we will take the same approach. We will aim to achieve this either through redeploying staff or offering voluntary early departures.
“To provide best value for the tax payer we need a modern and fit for purpose prison estate, which is why we are replacing old and uneconomic places with new and efficient accommodation.”
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71-year-old Robert Howard was in jail at HMP Frankland and was due to give evidence at a re-ordered inquest in Belfast.