Stocken Prison may take 214 extra inmates after summer riots

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MORE than 200 extra inmates could be sent to HMP Stocken because of a shortage in prison places after August’s riots.

The Ministry of Justice has asked Rutland County Council for permission to send 214 extra inmates to the prison until April next year.

The rapid rise in short-term jail terms being given out following the riots has left the prison population at record levels.

The Prisons Service is looking to find extra capacity in lower category prisons.

HMP Stocken is a category C prison. It has space for the extra inmates because seven blocks have been demolished and replaced by two new buildings which are not yet fully occupied.

This is because a planning condition has prevented the prison from accepting any extra inmates until problems with drainage and sewerage are resolved.

Its population is currently capped at 948.

In a statement supporting the Ministry of Justice’s planning application, its agent Lambert Smith Hampton says: “As a result of the recent civic disturbances in a number of towns and cities in England, an urgent need has arisen for short-term additional prison capacity.

“It is anticipated that this peak in demand will have subsided by the end of April 2012 but that, in the interim, additional capacity needs to be found in suitable prisons.

“HMP Stocken is one such suitable establishment.”

The statement says talks are ongoing with Anglian Water to deal with the sewerage problems but the issue is not yet resolved.

Sewerage tanks would be brought in to ensure the drainage system was not overloaded following the rise in inmates. Sewage would be taken away from the prison to be disposed of.

Rutland County Council’s development control committee will discuss a separate planning application for HMP Stocken on Tuesday. Plans for a three-storey house block have been recommended for approval subject to conditions by planners at the council.