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Bullwood Hall – now a male prison

September 17, 2006 by  

Call for boost to prison security
A Tory MP whose constituency includes Bullwood Hall Prison has called for extra security following the switch from female inmates to male.

Rayleigh MP Mark Francois called for improvements at the Hockley prison in response to anxious calls from local residents.

In May it was announced the former women’s prison would change to a category C men’s jail and it now houses foreign inmates who are waiting to be deported. Since the change in status, two rolls of barbed wire have been added to the outer fence to increase security.

Mr Francois said he had been keeping a close eye on the changes at the prison and visited in June to speak to the new governor, Roger Plant, who replaced former boss Mike Poselay.

Mr Francois has also spoken to Gerry Sutcliffe, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Criminal Justice and Offender Management, to say he would like security upgraded further.

He said: “Ever since the decision to change the role of Bullwood Hall in May, I have taken a close interest in the matter.

“My overwhelming concern throughout has been to ensure the safety of my constituents, particularly those living around the prison.

“That is why I have both visited the prison and had a meeting with the prisons minister.

“Although the security at Bullwood Hall has already been upgraded I believe that this is an area where we should err on the side of safety.”

Mr Francois said he had spoken to the Home Office and they were carrying out an audit to “double check” the security.

A spokesman for the prison service confirmed the barbed wire fence had been installed.

He added that minor alterations such as this were standard when there was a change of function at a prison.

1:30pm Monday 11th September 2006

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One Response to “Bullwood Hall – now a male prison”
  1. admin says:

    Mark Francois (Rayleigh, Conservative) Hansard source

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

    (1) what category of prisoners will be accommodated at HMP Bullwood Hall following the change of status from a female to a male prison; and if he will make a statement;

    (2) when the first male inmates are scheduled to be sent to HMP Bullwood Hall; and if he will make a statement;

    (3) when the decision was taken to change the status of HMP Bullwood Hall from a female to a male prison; and if he will make a statement;

    (4) whether a risk assessment was undertaken prior to the decision to change the status of HMP Bullwood Hall from a female to a male prison; and if he will make a statement;

    (5) what additional security measures are planned at HMP Bullwood Hall to accommodate the change from female to male prisoners; and if he will make a statement.

    Gerry Sutcliffe (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office) Hansard source

    holding answer 15 June 2006

    Category C adult male prisoners are located in Bullwood Hall. Additional security has been put in place, but it is not Government policy to comment on specific security measures. Male prisoners were located at Bullwood Hall from 27 June. The decision to change the function of Bullwood Hall was taken on 18 May 2006. Full consideration was given to the risks involved when making the decision to change function. It was decided to change function to ensure that there was sufficient capacity for the adult male prisoner population at a time when there was spare capacity within the women’s prison estate.

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