MP CALLS ON PRISON SERVICE TO TALK TO STAFF AND COMMUNITY OVER PLANS FOR ASHFIELD PRISON

Plans for the Young Offenders Institution at Pucklechurch to be ‘re-rolled’ as an adult prison need proper consultation with local people, according to local MP Steve Webb.  It is announced today that a fall in the number of young offenders being imprisoned means that some prisons across the country will close.   HMP and YOI Ashfield at Pucklechurch will remain open but it is planned that it will become an adult prison.  Local MP Steve Webb, whose constituency also includes a women’s prison at Eastwood Park and an open prison at Leyhill, wrote to the Ministry of Justice before Christmas to raise his concerns and has this week spoken personally to the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, about the issue.  Steve Webb said:

“I understand the argument that falling numbers of young offenders means things have to change, and that this may be the best way to keep Ashfield open, but it is still a very big change both for those who work there and for the local community.   This has not been well handled, with leaks and rumours and a lack of clear information.  Staff need the opportunity to feed in their views and local people should also be able to have their questions answered about the plans.  I will be pressing for much better communications about this major change”.

The Gazette has reported the story here.

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