“The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced its intention to build a prison in North Wales. It is anticipated that the prison will be a closed category C prison for up to 2,000 prisoners. Category C prisoners, according to the MoJ, are “prisoners who can not be trusted in open conditions but who do not have the resources and will to make a determined escape attempt.”
The MoJ has indicated the prison will be a £250 million construction project which will bring significant economic benefits to the region. It is estimated that it will create around 1000 jobs and generate around £23 million in annual revenue for the regional economy.
Work is expected to start on site in the summer of 2014 with the prison fully operational by late 2017.
Wrexham has not been named as the chosen site and it is expected that the MoJ will make a further announcement in the future giving the exact location of the prison.
The bid for a prison in North Wales was led by the North Wales Regional Leadership Board (NWRLB), a forum comprising each North Wales Local Authority, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, North Wales Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales and North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority. It had the support of the Welsh Government, the Secretary of State for Wales and neighbouring local authorities.
Wrexham County Borough Council has put forward two sites to the MoJ for consideration for the building of the new prison. The sites put forward are the Former Firestone site and Kingmoor Park. Both sites are located on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The absence of a prison in North Wales has caused fundamental problems relating to issues such as prisoner resettlement and reduced re-offending rates, efficiency in the operation of the criminal justice system and the use of the Welsh Language by prisoners as all prisoners from North Wales serve their sentences outside the region, largely in England; this can have detrimental outcomes all around.
The Council has no further information that it can pass on to you about the process. The specific times that the MoJ are working to are not known and neither is the date of any further announcement about the sites .
The Council does, however, recognise that we need to keep you as up-to-date as possible throughout the process and will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
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