Wales Office Minister, Stephen Crabb, today accompanied the Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation, Jeremy Wright on a visit to Parc prison in Bridgend.
The visit to Parc, which is run by G4S, follows an announcement earlier in the year by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) about their plans to modernise the prison estate. In January, the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced that four new houseblocks will be built in England and Wales, including one at Parc. In total they will be able to hold up to 1,260 prisoners and will replace older, more expensive prison capacity.
During the visit, Ministers met Parc Director Janet Wallsgrove who provided an update on plans for the houseblock development and an overview on the programmes being put in place to help prevent prisoners from reoffending on release.
In March this year it was announced that Parc would benefit from a £3m grant to run its ‘Invisible Walls’ project, which aims to work with offenders and their families during their sentence and after release to prevent reoffending.
Over the next four years the project will work with prisoners and their families on intervention packages, including specialist parenting and relationship programmes for the whole family. This includes advice about family debt, training and education, housing advice and support, physical health and fitness and support in moving towards employment.
Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP said:
I welcome the opportunity to accompany the Prisons Minister on this visit at a time when England and Wales is undergoing a significant programme to update the prison estate.
Along with the new developments at Parc, subject to planning, Wales is also set to benefit from the £250m investment in a new prison in Wrexham.
These developments in Wales which will provide a welcome boost to our local and national economies and create jobs as we continue on the path to economic recovery.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said:
We need a modern and fit for purpose prison estate which provides enough prison capacity but at a lower cost to the taxpayer. That is why we are replacing older accommodation that is expensive to run with newer and more efficient prison places.
The new prison in Wrexham and the houseblock in Parc will help us deliver those plans and supply additional capacity for Welsh prisoners to be accommodated in Wales.
Note to Editors:
For further information on the Ministry of Justice announcement on prison estates, please call the MoJ newsdesk on 020 3334 3536.
HMP Parc, run by G4S, is the only privately run prison in Wales.
On 27 June the MoJ announced plans to build a new prison in north Wales. The former Firestone site in Wrexham has been chosen as the site for the new prison. Having secured a £250m investment, work will begin next summer, pending approval
In January 2013 the MoJ announced plans to build four new mini-prisons (known as houseblocks) at HMPs Parc,Peterborough, the Mount and Thameside. The mini-prisons will be able to hold 1,260 prisoners and will replace older, more expensive prison capacity.