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Prison Accommodation

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many additional prison places his Department plans to provide in each year between 2008 and 2015; and what the total prison capacity will be in each such year; (295383)

(2) when he expects work to start on each of the five 1,500 capacity prisons his Department has proposed as an alternative to Titan prisons; and what the annual capital cost of constructing them will be in each year to 2014-15.

The Ministry of Justice aims to increase capacity to 96,000 prison places by 2014 which includes delivering an additional 20,000 prison places through the Capacity Programme. The precise numbers and delivery timings will depend on construction schedules and prioritisation within the prisons estate.

The procurement process for the five 1,500 capacity prisons, known as the New Prisons Programme, is already under way. An OJEU notice to establish a private finance initiative (PFI) framework for firms who could design, build and operate these prisons was published on 3 August 2009. We anticipate appointing up to seven firms onto the framework in spring next year with the first prison being operational in 2013. Under the design, build and operate contracts, National Offender Management Service, will not pay a capital cost for construction and operation, and will instead be charged a single revenue stream covering these elements for the full period of the PFI contracts. It is therefore not possible to identify the capital cost of construction. However, we estimate the total cost of the five new prisons to be in the region of £1.2 billion (at 2008-09 prices and excluding VAT and site purchase costs).

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the estimated annual capital cost of his Department's plan for additional prison capacity is for each year to 2014-15. (295385)

The estimated annual capital costs for additional prison capacity for the current prison building programme (excluding the 1,500 place new prisons) for each year up to 2013-14 are set out in the following table:

Current forecast

Capital (£ million)

2009-10

410

2010-11

280

2011-12

307

2012-13

0

2013-14

0

The 8,500 programme and expansion measure programme is expected to finish in 2011-12. Further capacity will be provided by the New Prisons programme.