Hockley: MOJ to Close Bullwood Hall

Six prisons are to close in England, including Bullwood Hall in Hockley, with a new so-called super-prison replacing them.

The Ministry of Justice is trying to save £63 million by shutting sites which are too small, old or expensive to run. The new facility is likely to be in London, the North West or North Wales. 

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: 'We have to bring down the cost of our prison system, much of which is old and expensive. But I never want the Courts to be in a position where they cannot send a criminal to prison because there is no place available. 

"So we have to move as fast as we can to replace the older parts of our prison system. That's why we are moving ahead with immediate plans for new prison capacity, as well as closing older and more expensive facilities." 

Based in Hockley, HMP Bullwood Hall is a male category C prison, which focuses on low-risk foreign national offenders. It can hold up to 225 offenders and no prisoners with convictions for sexual or violent offences are accepted. 

It had an annual budget £6.2 million in 2011/2012 and the cost per prisoner is roughly £49,000. Facilities available at the prison include hobbies kits, in-cell power points and in enhanced wings PlayStations and televisions are available. 

It was originally built in the 1960s as a female borstal but in 2006 due to population pressures it stopped taking female prisoners. 

Well-known inmates included road-rage killer Tracie Andrews who was sentenced to life in prison after stabbing her fiance Lee Harvey in 1996.