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York Women's Prison to Close


11:31am 25th October 2013
(Updated 5:04pm 25th October 2013)

HMP Askham Grange, which can house up to 128 female prisoners will be closed.

Offenders at the open prison will be put on to employment schemes in their local communities instead.

It's not clear when the HMP Askham Grange will shut for good or what will happen to the 100 staff who work there and at East Sutton Park prison in Kent which is also closing.

The Ministry of Justice has told Minster FM staff and prisoners won't be affected immediately but staff are being given HR support.

The ten mother and baby places at the prison will move to a new centre at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.

Speaking about the reforms as a whole Justice Minister Lord McNally said:

“When a female offender walks out of the prison gates, I want to make sure she never returns.

“Keeping female prisoners as close as possible to their homes, and importantly their children, is vital if we are to help them break the pernicious cycle of re-offending.

“And providing at least a year of support in the community, alongside the means to find employment on release, will give them the best possible chance to live productive, law abiding lives.”

Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council said: “It is disappointing to hear that HMP Askham Grange is to close.  My concern lies with the 100 staff who work at the prison who are currently unsure of their future and I will be contacting Lord McNally, the Minister for female offenders, to discuss their future. City of York Council will be working with the prison and partners to support staff with training and redeployment in light of this news.”


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