Labour Pledges to Deliver 14,000 New Prison Spaces to Ease Overcrowding Crisis

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Labour Pledges to Deliver 14,000 New Prison Spaces to Ease Overcrowding Crisis

In a bold move to address the overcrowding crisis in prisons, the Labour Party has promised to deliver 14,000 additional prison places. The blame for the current state of the prison estate falls squarely on Conservative inaction, according to Labour shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood.

Mahmood emphasised that Labour would designate prisons as “of national importance” from day one of their government. This designation would empower ministers to make planning decisions directly, bypassing the usual local authority process. The goal is to expedite the creation of 20,000 prison places, a much-needed relief for the overcrowded system.

Labour Pledges To Deliver 14,000 New Prison Spaces To Ease Overcrowding Crisis

Contrary to claims that funding is an obstacle, Mahmood clarified that the necessary budget allocation already exists within the Ministry of Justice. The real challenge lies in overcoming bureaucratic hurdles and backbencher complaints that have hindered prison construction.

The urgency of this issue cannot be overstated. Recent incidents, including ten inmate deaths at Parc Prison in Bridgend since February, underscore the need for immediate action. By classifying prisons as sites of national importance, ministers can take control of planning decisions, preventing further crises behind bars.

The Conservative Party responded by asserting that they are overseeing the largest expansion of the prison estate since the Victorian era. However, Labour’s commitment to swift action remains steadfast.

Beyond prison reform, Labour’s manifesto also includes plans for 80 new specialist rape courts across England and Wales, specialized rape units in police forces, and legislation to combat violence against shop staff.

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