Prison building ‘Does size still matter?’: A Re-Assessment

Madoc-Jones, Iolo, Williams, E, Hughes, Caroline and Turley, Jo (2016) Prison building ‘Does size still matter?’: A Re-Assessment. Prison Service Journal (227). pp. 4-10.

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This paper synthesises existing work and extends empirical knowledge about the possibilities attendant on building bigger prisons in England and Wales. This follows on from an announcement in 2013 that a 2,100 inmate prison (HMP Berwyn) would be built in North Wales. Moreover a statement by the Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, that ‘ageing and ineffective’ Victorian jails would be sold off to fund larger replacement prisons.1 To that end it is salutary to note that in 1980 44,000 people were held in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales and that this number was described by the sitting Home Secretary as dangerously high.2 This is because by October 2015 a neo-liberal inspired popular penalty had gone on to inflate the prison population to 86,727.3 The social and economic costs attendant on imprisoning large numbers (and proportions) of people hardly needs further exploration. They have been amply poured over and debated in this and other journals as well as in media and political circles. Comparatively speaking, however, the practical management implications of the policy of mass incarceration has received less attention. As increasing numbers of people have been imprisoned, the prison estate has aged and contestability between the public and private sector has become the norm, the question of how the prison estate should be structured and managed to ensure prisoners ‘are treated humanely, decently and lawfully’ has become more salient.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Social and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Hayley Dennis
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2018 13:33
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2018 13:33

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