Boris Johnson set to put 'rocket boosters' under new prison places plan

Posted On: 
10th August 2019

Boris Johnson is expected to unveil plans to increase the number of places in British prisons amid concern overcrowding is hampering rehabilitation efforts.

Britain’s prisons are operating at 97 per cent of capacity.
Credit: 
PA Images

Allies have said the new PM will scrap the plans made by David Gauke, the former justice secretary, to abolish jail sentences of six months or less for all but the most serious criminals, a move designed to cut prison numbers. ​

A government source told The Times: “Boris wants to put rocket boosters under the prison-building programme.

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“He’s talking about a new mega-prison, he’s trying to release cash.

“Prisons are overcrowded. We need better facilities and a better environment where prisoners can do more purposeful activity. It’s all part of making prisons more purposeful.”

Britain’s prisons are operating at 97% capacity and there are fears that overcrowding is fuelling record violence. T

he number of assaults in prisons in the year to March, the most recent data available, reached 34,425, the highest recorded, and there were 10,311 assaults on staff.

But the prison population is currently expected to grow from 83,007 at present to 86,400 by March 2023.