UK: Haverigg prison to become "open prison" and double in size

Capacity at HMP Haverigg will double by expanding the use of existing space, Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer announced today. After careful consultation with local residents and stakeholders, capacity at the jail will increase from 268 to 570 later this year. It will become a Category D open prison, offering offenders approaching the end of their sentence an improved transition into the community following a tough risk assessment.

The jail in the village of Haverigg, Cumbria, is on the site of an old RAF training centre and was converted to a prison in 1967. Space from the disused sleeping quarters will be brought back into use at the jail which currently holds 268 Category C male prisoners.

Its modification to become an open prison will offer an important test for robustly risk-assessed offenders as they prepare for release. Those that do not comply with the rules will face being returned to much tougher closed conditions.

Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer QC MP said: “The development of Haverigg is one of the smart ways in which we can maximise the existing estate to create prison places that boost rehabilitation. The jail already plays an important role in the local economy, acting as one of the largest employers in the region.

“Open prisons allow offenders to gain work placements, rebuild family ties and prepare for release into the community – all vital in reducing reoffending and ultimately protecting the public.”

Trudy Harrison, Member of Parliament for Copeland, said: “I have visited HMP Haverigg many times and have seen the professionalism and dedication of officers and staff. Innovative programmes such as the woodwork enterprise, the smokery - where local produce is smoked and sold at shows - and the first prison Park Run are testament to the support provided to inmates from Governor Tony Corcoran and his team. They are committed to rehabilitating and providing life skills to inmates and benefitting the community of South Copeland.”

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