The location for a new £250m super prison in North Wales has been announced. The jail, housing 2,000 inmates, will be built at the former Firestone factory site on Wrexham Industrial Estate. The UK Government says it will create up to 1,000 jobs.
The Howard League for Penal Reform has criticised the UK Government's announcement of a new 2,000-inmate super prison in Wrexham.
The charity says large jails have a range of problems.
The idea that big is beautiful with prisons is wrong. Not our words, but those of David Cameron before he became Prime Minister.
All evidence shows that larger jails find prisoners more difficult to control, drug abuse and violence are more prevalent and opportunities for education and training are limited in such crowded environments.
If the Government wants to spend £250m on boosting employment opportunities in North Wales, there are much better ways of doing that than building a huge jail.
– Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform
The First Minister says the new prison will "become a significant contributor to the Welsh economy."
Carwyn Jones also focused on the benefits of offenders being held closer to their homes.
The new, 2000-inmate, super prison will be North Wales' first ever jail.
Today’s announcement is a big boost for Wrexham and all of North Wales and will bring far reaching benefits to the region.
The new prison will create jobs and become a significant contributor to the Welsh economy.
The current arrangements whereby prisoners from North Wales have to serve their sentences in England are far from ideal. Not only does this mean that the relevant Welsh language provision is not in place for prisoners for whom Welsh is their first language, but their families have to travel great distances to visit them. This is not conducive to effective rehabilitation.
The Welsh Government has long supported seeing a prison built in North Wales and I am very pleased that the benefits of having a prison in Wrexham have been recognised by the UK Government.
We will work closely with the Ministry of Justice, Local Authorities in North Wales and other partners to ensure its success.
The news of a new super prison in Wrexham has come alongside the announcement of four prisons in England being closed.
Blundeston in Suffolk, Dorchester in West Dorset, Northallerton in North Yorkshire and Reading prisons will close.
Feasibility work has also started on a second large prison to be constructed in the south east of England.
This is the latest part of our plan to modernise our prisons, bring down costs, but to make sure that by the next election we still have access to more prison places than we inherited in 2010.
I’m really pleased that we have reached agreement on the new prison in Wrexham. It will provide a real boost to the local economy in North Wales over the next few years, which is one key reason why the Chancellor has made sure we have the money for the project.
Work will begin on-site next summer with the prison fully operational by late 2017.
The new prison will provide up to 1,000 much-needed jobs, great opportunities for local businesses and millions of pounds worth of construction opportunities. It also provides North Wales with its first ever prison, offering an opportunity for offenders from the region to be closer to their homes.
Of course the reorganisation of our prison estate which we are undertaking means some difficult decisions – but we have to make sure that we have modern, affordable prisons that give the best opportunity for us to work with offenders to stop them committing more crimes when they leave.