Glen Parva jail to close in June before new prison is built in its place
Glen Parva’s aging jail will close in June when the last of its inmates are transferred to other prisons.
Prisons minister Sam Gyimah has told South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa the 1970s former borstal will close within the next few months and will be demolished.
Mr Costa, in whose constituency the prison sits, has been tracking the progress of a project to replace the existing prison with a new £170 million Category C prison complex.
The Conservative MP said: “From my discussions with Sam Gyimah it is clear the Government intends to crack on with the project and the big news is that they intend to get all the prisoners out within three months.
“They have said they will be moved to other appropriate locations and I am seeking further information about that.
“I am keen to ensure that the families of prisoners are not inconvenienced by having their relatives moved too far away.
“I also want to make sure the staff are not inconvenienced and can be transferred to alternative employment.”
He added: “I do know they have been winding the prison population down in preparation. I do not know the exact population of Glen Parva at the moment but it will be down to a few hundred.”
A detailed planning application is expected to be submitted to Blaby District Council in the autumn. He said the Government was on track to provide 10,000 new prison places by 2020.
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) says the new prison will hold 1,600 inmates, each with their own cell.
New four-storey cell blocks will be pre-constructed and installed on the site once prisoners have been relocated, staff re-deployed and the current buildings flattened.
The new prison will be surrounded by a 5.2m-high mesh fence.
Inside, there will be separate areas for short-sentence prisoners and longer-term prisoners, plus sports pitches, education blocks and IT suites.
A NOMS spokesman said: “We want good-quality accommodation.
“The windows will be bar-less but made of toughened glass so it feels less like a prison.”
He said improving the atmosphere and conditions in which the prisoners were held would improve their behaviour and chances of rehabilitation.
He added: “We will be looking at reconfiguring the layout so the windows don’t face the perimeter fence, which should end the problem currently of people standing outside shouting up to prisoners.”
No current staff would lose their jobs, although some might choose to take redundancy.
It is intended to clear the site by late summer this year, start building in early 2018 and have the new prison fully operational by early 2020.