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Prison Capacity: South-west

Volume 639: debated on Tuesday 24 April 2018

In Devon and Cornwall, as in my own constituency in Cumbria, the number of offenders is fortunately quite small in absolute terms, which means that provision is at Exeter and Dartmoor.

The Minister will know that Dartmoor Prison is earmarked for closure, after notice was served on its lease back in 2013. The prison is an asset to the south-west and employs a number of my constituents. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Torridge and West Devon (Mr Cox) is also keen and eager for the prison to remain open. Will the Minister review the decision and look at what more can be done to keep that facility open?

The decision to close the prison was based on the fact that it was built in 1805 and there are significant maintenance issues, with a great deal of damp and leaking. However, we pay tribute to the governor and the prison officers for running a very good prison regime that is popular with the prisoners, which is one thing that we will have to balance when making the final decision on the prison.