RYE HILL Prison near Rugby will be expanded as part of the Government’s major prison reform plans.
Chancellor George Osborne and Justice Secretary Michael Gove unveiled this week a major new prison reform programme and spending review including plans to build nine new prisons.
The plans to upgrade Britain’s prison system will allow the government to close old Victorian prisons in city centres and sell the sites for housing.
Five of the new prisons will open in the next few years as well as expanding existing prisons including HMP Rye Hill.
Mr Osborne said: “This spending review is about reform as much as it is about making savings.
“One important step will be to modernise the prison estate. So many of our jails are relics from Victorian times on prime real estate in our inner cities.
“So we are going to reform the infrastructure of our prison system, building new institutions which are modern, suitable and rehabilitative. And we will close old, outdated prisons in city centres, and sell the sites to build thousands of much-needed new homes.
“This will save money, reform an outdated public service and create opportunity by boosting construction jobs and offering more people homes to buy.”
Rye Hill, an all-male prison, opened in 2001 in Willougby, near Rugby, with a capacity of 625 and only last year converted from a training prison to become the only category B sex offender prison in England and Wales.
The prison was criticised earlier in the year for having insufficient healthcare standards for inmates – with reports of increased attempts of self harm and lack of mental health care opportunities.
But in the same report, independent security firm G4S which runs the prison was praised for the transition. It said the prison’s three-month transition to a sex-offender only unit was handled “professionally, decently and without significant incident”.