Female prisons to be converted to hold men following rise in population

A record high in the number of male prisoners has resulted in two female prisons being changed into male only establishments.

HMP Brockhill and HMP Bullwood Hall will be transformed so that they offer an additional 335 places for male inmates.

The prison population rose steadily through 2005 and reached a record high of 77,823 inmates last November. While there was a large increase in male prisoners, the amount of female prisoners has remained stable for 18 months.

Gerry Sutcliffe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Criminal Justice and Offender Management, said: “The decision to change the function of any prison is a very difficult one but in order to continue to manage prisons safely and effectively we must be able to react to, and deal with, the constantly changing nature of the prison population.

“Both Brockhill and Bullwood Hall represent the best option as both are able to hold men at the appropriate security category and provide a positive and constructive environment in order to address offending behaviour and help prisoners live successful crime free lives on release.

 “I am confident that both prisons and their staff will respond to these challenges and work hard to meet the new demands placed upon them.
The transformations to both prisons will start immediately and it will take around 12 weeks to implement.

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