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Prisons shake-up: Prison Reform Trust

Resettlement and rehabilitation do matter but until and unless you reserve prison for serious and violent offenders, you cannot hope to cut sky-high re-offending rates or maintain safe and decent regimes.

Given the pace and scale of change, ministers focused on developing the justice market could easily lose sight of the solutions that lie outside of prison bars in health, housing and employment."

– Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust.

Idea of 'resettlement' prisons is a good one: Labour

The idea of resettlement prisons is a good one - prisoners being integrated back into communities where they have family and friends could lead to reduced re-offending and fewer victims of crime.

However, this is another example of reality being very different from rhetoric.

These plans amounts to a substantial reorganisation of our prisons system, and it's not clear how it will be funded

Labour has consistently said that extending support for prisoners on sentences of less than 12 months is to be welcomed in theory.

But, in practice, it is another uncosted proposal from Chris Grayling.

An additional 50,000 offenders requiring support for skills, drug and alcohol dependency, behavioural problems, housing and jobs does not come out of fresh air.

– Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Justice Secretary.

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SW prisons in shake-up

Seven jails in the South West are included in proposals to become 'resettlement prisons'.

The plans, which are being revealed by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling on Thursday, will see the majority of offenders released from prisons in, or close to, the area in which they live.

  • Bristol
  • Leyhill in Gloucestershire
  • Exeter
  • Channings Wood in Newton Abbot
  • Guys Marsh in Dorset
  • Portland
  • Dorchester

Shake up for the South West's prisons

HMP Channings Wood near Newton Abbot. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Justice Secretary has unveiled plans for a shake-up of the prison estate.

70 'resettlement' prisons in England in Wales, including the South West of England, will see the majority of offenders released from prisons in, or close to, the area in which they will live.

A trial will start in the North West of England in the Autumn.

Prisons under threat

Five prisons in the South West should close and a three thousand capacity 'super-prison' be built near Bristol, according to a Government think-tank.

A report from Policy Exchange says prisons such as Dartmoor in Devon and Portland in Dorset should close to make way for newer facilities in a so-called 'hub' prison. It argues this would save six hundred million pounds a year in running costs,and also reduce reoffending.

But the plan is strongly opposed by the Prisons Reform Trust.

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