IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Pentonville prison to stay open

Caledon­ian Road jail had been earmarked for closure to make way for housing

25 October, 2019 — By Emily Finch

PENTONVILLE prison will now not be closed to make way for housing, the govern­ment’s prisons minister revealed this week.

The prison in Caledon­ian Road was earmarked for closure in 2015 by the then justice secretary Michael Gove as part of a “new for old” prison reform scheme.

But pris­ons minister Lucy Frazer told a justice committee meeting on Tuesday that it was “not the stated policy of government” to close any Victorian prisons.

She said if the prison population continued at its current level the Ministry of Justice would “need to be prepared to house people who come to pris­on and that will mean we need to keep our Victor­ian prisons in operation.”

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The prison system is littered with broken promises, and this is another broken promise to sort out rat-infested, shabby places where people live and work.”

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