Government must publish economic case for new prisons

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has called on the Government to publish its evidence that new prisons will bring jobs and economic growth.

The call came in reaction to news that the Government plans to build four new prisons across England and Wales, claiming they will create at least 2,000 jobs.

Speaking today, the Centre's Director, Richard Garside, said:

The Government has made a number of striking claims about the economic benefits of new prisons. Yet despite repeated requests to publish the evidence for these claims, they have so far refused to do so.

The Justice Secretary should publish this evidence now, to allow for proper scrutiny of her plans by parliament, campaigners, independent experts and the public.

The Government claims that the new prisons will replace older Victorian buildings as part of a 'new for old' scheme. It is far more likely that the new prisons will simply expand capacity and inaugurate a new era of prison growth.

If the Government is serious about controlling and reducing our bloated prisoner population, it needs a coherent and long-term programme of decarceration, not a damaging programme of prison expansion.