The Solicitor General and Wigston MP, Edward Garnier, has succeeded in stopping a planned 360 place new prison build, for young offenders, at Glen Parva in his own constituency. There will be those who might accuse him of being a NIMBY.
The economic downturn has meant cutbacks and savings are needed all over the place. A cheaper, equivalent number of adult prison places will instead be provided elsewhere. According to the MoJ: “This forms part of the £325m that the Ministry of Justice will contribute to the savings of £6billion for this financial year (2010-2011), as announced by the Chancellor, Gideon Osborne, earlier this week”.
Edward Garnier, has said: “We need to be more imaginative about how we treat offenders within the criminal justice system”.
This got me thinking. Nobody can accuse me of being a NIMBY. Now I know there are those who claim that our prisons are already holiday camps, so why am I supportive of the plans to turn a place in Richmond, North Yorkshire, in my own constituency, into an adult prison?
The guidebook states that Lindale Holiday Park, near Bedale, is:
“A peaceful site set in the rolling hills of lower Wensleydale, convenient for visiting the dales and many local attractions. There are holiday caravans and lodges available for sale. There are holiday lodges with private spas available for hire. The park is open all year.
The many trees and shrubs on the park give privacy, seclusion and beauty to the site . In this beautiful environment you will find a tranquil holiday haven in complete empathy with its picturesque country surroundings.
It is without doubt eco-friendly. Therefore, ideal for the first ecological prison in the country. It maybe a new concept for us in the UK, however, there is a successful working model already in existence in Norway.
Obviously such a prison would be low security, and Kenneth Clarke and I have reached an understanding that only those prisoners who have successfully completed a course on Anger Management or Sex Offender Treatment Programme will be transferred to what will be called Dale’s View Prison.