Portsmouth prison officers to protest over Kingston Prison closure

CLOSING Portsmouth's Kingston Prison
CLOSING Portsmouth's Kingston Prison

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DEMONSTRATORS will gather outside the House of Commons today to protest against the planned closures of prisons – including Kingston Prison in Portsmouth.

Representatives from the Prison Officers’ Association are protesting against last month’s announcement that six prisons will shut across the UK, with a partial closure of Camp Hill Prison on the Isle of Wight.

The union has said almost 5,000 prison places have been lost since the coalition government came into power in 2010 – and warned that greater overcrowding in jails is leading to problems for staff and prisoners.

Ahead of the demonstration, the POA will brief MPs on the dangers of the prison closure programme at a drop-in session at Westminster Hall.

Inmates are currently being moved out of the 143-year-old jail in Milton Road.

The government is currently looking into the feasibility of building a new ‘super-prison’, capable of holding 2,000 offenders, as well as four mini-prisons in a bid to save £63 million

There are no plans currently to redevelop Kingston Prison for another use.

The jail has been mainly a Category B prison, holding a high percentage of inmates serving life sentences.

Accommodation in the main prison is made up of single occupancy cells.