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Gloucester prison to close Ministry of Justice announces

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

Gloucester Prison to close

Gloucester Prison to close

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GLOUCESTER prison is to close the Ministry of Justice has announced.

This morning the Ministry of Justice confirmed it would shut by the end of the current financial year in March, raising questions over where the inmates will go, and what will happen to prison officers' jobs.

It is one of six smaller, older, and more expensive jails that are to shut under a major shake-up of the prison estate.

It came as the MoJ unveiled plans for what would be Britain's biggest prison which could hold more than 2,000 prisoners – around a quarter more than the largest current facility.

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The new facility is likely to be in London, the North West or North Wales.

 Four new mini-prisons – known as houseblocks - will also be built. The current intention is that these new places will be built at HMPs Parc in South Wales, Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, The Mount in Hertfordshire and Thameside in London. In total they will be able to hold up to 1,260 prisoners and they will replace older, more expensive prison capacity.

The Government says the cost of holding a prisoner in an older prison is often more than twice as expensive as keeping them in a new one.

Their modern design allows new prisons to operate in a significantly more efficient way, requiring less maintenance and general upkeep compared to older ones.

The new developments will allow the MoJ to close the six smaller prisons including Gloucester, and to close parts of three others.

The move is part of the Government's drive to build new capacity to replace older prisons and so bring down the cost of operating the prison system. It is expected to save £63 million a year. 

 Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "We have to bring down the cost of our prison system, much of which is old   and expensive. But I never want the Courts to be in a position where they cannot send a criminal to prison because there is no place available. So we have to move as fast as we can to replace the older parts of our prison system.

 "That's why we are moving ahead with immediate plans for new prison capacity, as well as closing older and more expensive facilities.

 "It's also why I am now moving ahead with planning for the next generation of new prisons."

A spokesman for the MoJ said: “We do everything we possibly can to avoid compulsory redundancies by redeploying staff and using the voluntary early departure scheme.”

On the prisoners currently held at Gloucester, she added: “They will be moved to other prisons as appropriate.”

Pointing to recent reports highlighting the difficulties in running a modern prison in the 250-year-old building, Tory MP for Gloucester Richard Graham said: “Change sooner or later was inevitable. This gives us clarity. We know where we are. We can now get on with considering how the site can be best used to provide jobs and benefit the regeneration of the city centre.

“I will work with the governor to try and make sure people working at HMP Gloucester get all the help they need for this difficult time in their lives.”

He would be seeking to meet with staff next week.

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  • timnash1010  |  January 11 2013, 12:09AM

    why not clear out the inmates and then rent out the cells/rooms,as luxury accomadation,it's a no brainer! No need to refurbish the building,all the luxuries one could want in place,with all sorts of recreation,like learning carpentry,plumbing,bricklaying just for the experience. Seriously many people would love the oppurtunity to experience this lifestyle!

    Rate   -4
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  • thomas1996  |  January 10 2013, 10:17PM

    Lecorche, no chance!

    Rate   1
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  • Lecorche  |  January 10 2013, 9:27PM

    Clear it out but leave the listed bits and remove the walls. Refurbish the old buildings and yhen use it as a 'Welcome to Gloucester' centre with toilets and washrooms (with attendants) for coach parties. Add an Information centre and who knows? A boat stage opposite for river cruises maybe good too. Limited free car parking could be done here (again,with attendants). Flogging it off to some Gulag builder would be terrible. Let's make it enhance our little city by pandering to the shopper/visitor/tourist trade instead of pandering to the money grubbers who can only see as far as their bank. Give the people of Gloucester something to be proud of for a change!

    Rate   14
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  • Scorpio2010  |  January 10 2013, 8:37PM

    A new super prison and, no doubt, yet another super duper contract for G4S!

    Rate   10
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  • BishopHooper  |  January 10 2013, 7:18PM

    Heres an idea for the City council... Why not sell it to a developer that will turn it into yet another thing no one needs... another office block that will stand empty perhaps.... Or maybe another white elephant shopping center no one uses... a hotel that will always be empty possibly... Or... And stay with me on this one... How about... And I'm only spitballing here.... Convert it into affordabe flats for people who can't get on the property ladder.. Maybe use it to get families out of B&B accomodation.... But then again, there's no profit in that for you.......

    Rate   4
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  • gloscityguy  |  January 10 2013, 6:25PM

    So what are they going to do with the place? They can't knock it down, Turn it into hipster flats?

    Rate   2
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  • Studley1975  |  January 10 2013, 5:51PM

    Bad Times, Feel For All The Staff Who Will Now Have To Travel At Least An Hour To Get To Another Workplace In Challenging Financial Times! :0(

    Rate   13
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  • MissyMadDog  |  January 10 2013, 5:13PM

    Ok spindles12, so you think by keeping someone in a cell by themselves, I'm guessing 24/7, with nothing to do, not allowing them to interact with anybody is the way to go and would deter them from re offending? Get real. Everybody needs social interaction and things to do to stimulate the brain, we need fresh air and exercise, all of those are important to our mental well being. What do you think it would do to people mentally if they were kept locked up for weeks/months/years without anything to do at all except think and look at four walls. It would send any sane person insane, let alone those with already mental health problems or any of the other problems/issues they have. Do you want people to leave prison so damaged with their chances of leading a productive life being zero and making them an even bigger problem for society. If they go to prison as someone who is not necessarily viewed as a danger, they'd certainly come out being a great danger to society.

    Rate   11
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  • SChelt  |  January 10 2013, 5:08PM

    Spindles12 yes tough prisons stop crime don't they? There were no repeat criminals when prisons were little more than dungeons were there? There's no violent crime in America because they have the death penalty and no theft in Taliban controlled areas because they chop the criminals hand off. Stopping criminals and criminality is not the easy fix idiots who have no idea what they're talking about think it is.

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 10 2013, 3:02PM

    The govenment is going to built a new "super prison" to cover the beds lost! Going to be a quick build!

    Rate   2
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