Justice Committee

Press notice No. 27 of Session 2008-09

27April 2009 / For Immediate Release


Chair of the Commons Justice Committee Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP said:

“We welcome today’s announcement that the Government is abandoning plans for the establishment of “Titan” prisons. We have repeatedly said that the Government’s focus on huge public investment in building more prison places in a few “mega-prisons” is a risky strategy, based on a flimsy evidence base.

“However, we are concerned that today’s proposals demonstrate that this Government is still committed to achieving the highest prison population in western Europe.

“These alternative proposals are still based on massive expansion of prison places predicted to cost an estimated additional £490 million per year just to run, on top of the capital costs to build. Evidence to our current inquiry into Justice Reinvestment suggests that there is a lot of support for this money being spent on alternatives to prison that have greater potential to reduce crime and re-offending.”

1. Committee membership is as follows: Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP (Chairman), Mr David Heath MP, Rt Hon Douglas Hogg MP, Siân James MP, Jessica Morden MP, Julie Morgan MP, Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Robert Neill MP, Dr Nick Palmer MP, Linda Riordan MP, Virendra Sharma MP, Mr Andrew Turner MP, Mr Andrew Tyrie MP and Dr Alan Whitehead MP

2. The Justice Committee is itself barred from considering the facts and merits of individual cases.

Further Information:
Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges Palmer (020 7219 0724) email: [email protected]; Clare Mills (07795 662742);

Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 8196/ 8198, email: [email protected]

Committee Website:  www.parliament.uk/justicecom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Select Committee Calendar: www.parliament.uk/what_s_on/hoc_news3.cfm

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk