Canterbury Prison To Close

Canterbury Prison and five others in England are to close under plans from the Ministry of Justice.

The others are Bullwood Hall in Essex, Gloucester, Kingston, Shepton Mallet and Shrewsbury, while Chelmsford, Hull and Isle of Wight will see some accommodation reduced.

Some 2,600 offenders are held at the prisons targeted for closure, and those being partially shut down.

Under the proposals a so-called super prison would be built instead. It would be Britain's largest jail, holding more than 2,000 prisoners, and would be built in London, the North West or North Wales.

The programme is part of a drive to build new capacity to replace older prisons and bring down the cost of the prison system. It is expected to save £63 million a year.

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.''