Welsh Secretary David Jones MP says he's confident a strong case can be made for building a proposed 'super-prison' in North Wales.
"We've already engaged heavily with the Ministry of Justice and I've already spoken to the Lord Chancellor and the Prisons Minister about this", he told ITV Wales.
"We will continue to press the case for North Wales, as it is an area of the country that it's already recognised is not properly catered for in the current prison system"
The Howard League for Penal Reform has attacked the Government's plans to consider building a prison to house more than 2,000 prisoners, saying the project "will do nothing to cut crime".
– Frances Crook, Chief Executive, the Howard League for Penal Reform
The decision to spend hundreds of millions on a titanic prison is bizarre. Time and again, our prisons have proven a colossal waste of public money, with 58% of those on short-term sentences going on to commit more crime within 12 months of release.
The truth is that the government knows that there are far too many people in prison who shouldn’t be there, with the prison population having doubled since 1990. In particular, far more people who have committed non-violent crimes have been put on pointless sentences of six months or less.
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Elfyn Llwyd has rejected the idea of a 'super-prison' based in North Wales, although he continues to back the construction of a smaller facility.
"My view is that we need a prison facility for North Wales, full stop", said Mr Llwyd, who is a member of the Commons Justice Committee.
"But I will not support a titan prison of 2,000 places. They are evil places, they do not work, and I do not know what kind of jobs will be offered, and what kind of work it'll be at the end of the day".
"To my way of thinking, it's utterly pointless"
– Elfyn Llwyd, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
It is a matter of common sense that North Wales is being considered as a potential site for a new prison since prisoners from the area are currently held across the border.
However, the inmate capacity of 2,000 would not meet the needs of the local community, whereas a smaller prison with a capacity of 650-750 would be more appropriate.
Should north Wales prove to be the UK Government's location of choice, there would be no welcome for a new facility unless there was a significant reduction in inmate capacity.
"There is an urgent need for prison places in North Wales, and today's statement has indicated there is a possible option for a super-prison" said David Hanson, the MP for Delyn, in the House of Commons this morning.
He added was "concerned" that MPs weren't able to question Justice Secretary Chris Grayling on the proposals today, and urged an early debate on the provision of prison places.
In response, Leader of the House Andrew Lansley MP said today's ministerial statement was "detailed and substantial", and said there will be "opportunities... formally and informally" for MPs to discuss the plans with the Department of Justice.
– David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales
I have long been supportive of a new prison in North Wales and have met regularly with the Prisons Minister and leaders from North Wales authorities to discuss this. I will continue to press the case with the Justice Secretary.
A prison in North Wales would create economic opportunities and secure new jobs. I also know how important having a prison in North Wales would be to families and professional advisors of prisoners.
“I am also pleased to see a new mini-prison, known as a house-block, is going to be built at HMP Parc in South Wales.
The four 'mini-prisons' announced by the Ministry of Justice will hold a total of 1,260 prisoners.
Under the plans, the 'houseblocks' will be built at HMPs Parc in Bridgend, Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, The Mount in Hertfordshire and Thameside in London.
Six prisons in England will close, along with sections of three others.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling says the plans will "bring down the cost" of operating the prison system, with the target of saving £63m annually.
A new 'super-prison' to hold more than 2,000 inmates could be built in North Wales, the Ministry of Justice has announced.
The announcement comes as the Government begins a feasibility study for upgrading the UK's prisons.
The new prison - which larger than any facility in the UK - is likely to be located in North Wales, the North West or in London.
Four new 'houseblock' prisons will also be built - one of which will be situated at the HMP Parc site in Bridgend.