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Commenting on new government plans for prison closures and building, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

"Closing prisons and reducing prison numbers offers major social and economic gains but it would be a gigantic mistake if the Justice Secretary were to revive the discredited idea of  titans and pour taxpayers' money down the prison building drain, when the Coalition Government could invest in crime prevention, healthcare and community solutions to crime.

"Small community prisons tend to be safer and better at reducing reoffending than huge anonymous establishments.

"Prison is an important place of last resort for serious and violent offenders not, as it has become, a place to dump people who are mentally ill, those with learning disabilities, addicts and vulnerable women and children".


Plans to build three 2,500-capacity "Titan" jails by the previous government at a cost of £2.9 billion were scrapped in 2009 following representations by the Prison Reform Trust and allied organisations. Read our briefing here.

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