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  1. ITV Report

New prison to be built on Full Sutton site near York

The existing Full Sutton prison will remain open during the development Credit: Press Association

A new prison is to be built at Full Sutton near York, the Justice Secretary has revealed.

The new establishment will be built next to the existing prison, which will remain open during the development. It's one of four new developments announced by Liz Truss as part of plans to reform the crisis-hit jail system.

The announcement is the latest step in a £1.3 billion revamp of the estate first launched under Ms Truss's predecessor, Michael Gove, amid concerns a number of facilities were overcrowded and run-down. It's part of a pledge to create up to 10,000 modern prison places by 2020.

The Ministry of Justice said final decisions on the new jails would be subject to planning approval, value for money and affordability.

As well as creating modern establishments, officials say the proposed programme will boost regional economies by creating up to 2,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing industries and new opportunities for local business.

Plans to close and sell Victorian prisons were first mooted in 2015 but so far only HMP Holloway in north London has shut.

Announcements on further jail closures are expected later in the year.<

Ms Truss said:

"We cannot hope to reduce re-offending until we build prisons that are places of reform where hard work and self-improvement flourish.

Outdated prisons, with dark corridors and cramped conditions, will not help offenders turn their back on crime - nor do they provide our professional and dedicated prison officers with the right tools or environment to do their job effectively.

This significant building programme will not only help create a modern prison estate where wholescale reform can truly take root but will also provide a thriving, economic lifeline for the local community - creating hundreds of jobs for local people and maximising opportunities for businesses."

– Justice Secretary Liz Tress

The announcement comes as ministers attempt to drive down re-offending rates and improve standards across the prison system in England and Wales following a hugely turbulent period.

Surging levels of violence and self-harm have sparked a slew of warnings about safety behind bars, while jails have been hit by a flurry of major disturbances.

A recruitment drive to add 2,500 frontline officers is among the measures introduced under the government's reform programme.

Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

"This massive investment in new prisons is not matched by a credible plan to reduce our reckless overuse of prison in the first place.

The prison estate certainly needs an overhaul, but reducing demand would mean closing prisons, not opening them."

– Peter Dawson, Prison Reform Trust

Shadow justice secretary and Leeds MP Richard Burgon said:

"We need modern prisons fit for the modern age. But simply replacing one prison with another prison doesn't deal with the overcrowding crisis."

– Shadow Justice Secretary, Richard Burgon