Prisons in Wales and treatment of Welsh offenders: evidence requested

19 May 2014

The Welsh Affairs Committee asks for submissions to its prisons in Wales and treatment of Welsh offenders inquiry by Wednesday 2 July 2014.

There are currently four prisons in Wales, although no facilities for either female or high risk offenders and limited facilities for young offenders. In addition, Welsh prisoners are affected by other issues, such as Welsh language provision and the provision of services by both non-devolved and devolved government bodies.

In 2013 the Ministry of Justice announced plans to build a large prison at the former Firestone factory site in Wrexham. The new prison is the first in North Wales and, with a capacity of around 2,000, will be the largest in the UK. The Government has not confirmed which type of prisoners will be held in the new prison in respect of age, gender or security level.

In March 2014 the Silk Commission recommended the devolution of the youth justice system (for offenders between 10 and 17 years old) and a study to investigate the possible devolution of justice and prisons.

Issues to address

The Committee invites written submissions and requests observations on the following issues:

  • The relative need for particular categories of prison places in Wales including high security, young offender and female places;
  • The plans for the new prison at Wrexham in North Wales including the merits or otherwise of building large prisons, the potential for places for different types of prisoner, and the structural organisation of the prison;
  • The provision of education and rehabilitation facilities for Welsh prisoners, particularly for young offenders, and Welsh language facilities;
  • The consistency of support for Welsh prisoners after their release depending on whether they were held in an English or Welsh prison;
  • The extent of co-operation and co-ordination between non-devolved and devolved bodies to support Welsh prisoners;
  • The impact of the Ministry of Justice’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme on Welsh prisoners; and
  • The merits of the devolution of aspects of the justice system including youth justice and prisons to Wales, as recommended by the Silk Commission.

The Committee asks for written submissions on this issue in accordance with the guidelines stated below. The deadline for written submissions is midday on Wednesday 2 July 2014.

Interested parties are invited to keep to a word limit of 4,000 words and to submit written evidence via the web portal below. There is no need to address all parts of the terms of reference.

Written evidence submissions for this inquiry should be made via the Prisons in Wales and treatment of Welsh offenders inquiry page.

Further information

Image: PA

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