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Prison size to double

PUBLISHED: 10:52 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:38 25 August 2010

A PRISON site is due to double in size in the next two years despite a government pledge to scrap super-sized Titan jails.

A PRISON site is due to double in size in the next two years despite a government pledge to scrap super-sized Titan jails.

HMP Belmarsh in Thamesmead is set to see two smaller jails built adjacent to it by 2011, bringing the Crown site's collective number of inmates up to some 2,000.

Isis prison is due to open next year to house around 500 prisoners, whilst private jail 'Belmarsh West' is expected to open for 600 inmates in 2011.

Barry O'Connor, Belmarsh's Independent Monitoring Board (IMP) chairman, said: "Dealing with upwards of 2,500 prisoners would be very difficult to manage. But the Belmarsh expansion is not a Titan concept. Each prison will have separate management and different types of prisoners."

Since 1997 the national prison population has expanded by almost a third to 82,773 places.

The unpopular Titan proposal to create 7,500 more places with three prisons was scrapped on Monday in favour of building five PFI 1,500 capacity prisons.


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