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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Titanic Prisons

 

Chris Grayling is delighting his party (and No.10) as the 'Tough Justice' Secretary who can also oversee a 'rehabilitation revolution'.

His announcement on prisons today is making waves, not least the announcement of a new 'mega-prison'.

But building bigger prisons is a bit a shift in position for the Conservatives. Here's a 'what they said then...' summary:

*   “The idea that big is beautiful with prisons is wrong." – David Cameron, The Guardian (2009)

*   “Smaller local prisons instead of the ‘titan’ prisons proposed the Government… Our preference is for smaller, local prisons, which provide better rehabilitation outcomes.” – Conservative Party, Prisons With A Purpose (2008)

*    “Huge prisoner warehouses — the largest in Europe — are not the right answer. What's needed is a network of smaller, local prisons with better integration with local communities and a new focus on reducing reoffending so that we can arrest the growth in the prison population in the right way.” – Nick Herbert MP, then Shadow Justice Secretary, The Guardian (2008)

*   “Jack Straw [the justice secretary] insisted that the design for three Titan prisons was predominantly based on cheapness rather than value for money and also that they should be designed to accommodate more than 2,500 prisoners. They are designed for overcrowding before they dig the first foundations; that to us is ridiculous. Experience suggests to us these large prisons are dangerous and inefficient.” – Edward Garnier MP, then Shadow Justice Secretary, The Guardian (2009)

*   “Whatever they call these enormous prisons, they are the wrong answer to the wrong question. They will not provide the answer to prison overcrowding; they will not allow for local imprisonment; they will not assist in the rehabilitation of offenders; and they will inevitably fail to deal with the outrageously high recidivist rates that we have seen under this Government.” – Edward Garnier MP, then Shadow Justice Secretary, Daily Telegraph (2009)

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