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Cost-cutting Suffolk prison merger scrapped over lack of savings

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 January 2016

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay

A planned cost-cutting merger between Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill prisons has been scrapped in a U-turn by the Prison Service.

Warren Hill Warren Hill

Staff at the open jail and the secure prison which share the same site were told of the reversal of the original decision earlier this week.

Officials were left red-faced after they discovered on closer inspection that any savings that would be made would not be as significant as first thought.

Last October it was announced that current Warren Hill Governor Bev Bevan would be taking over as the head of the merged prison.

However, now she will remain in charge of Warren Hill, while the current open prison Governor, Declan Moore, will continue to run Hollesley Bay

A Prison Service spokesman said: “A previously planned merger between HMP Warren Hill and HMP Hollesley Bay is no longer taking place.

“This follows a change in the type of offenders HMP Warren Hill now receives, meaning a merger is no longer suitable.”

In October last year a spokeswoman for The Prison Service said: “The merging of Warren Hill and Hollesley Bay prisons into a single establishment will contribute significantly to our plans to make the prison system more effective and efficient for taxpayers.

“The process will be led by Bev Bevan, Governor of HMP Warren Hill, supported by Declan Moore, Governor of HMP Hollesley Bay.”

The Prison Service said it was unable to comment on whether Mr Moore would remain at the prison in the longer term.

February last year saw the arrival of the first new adult inmates at Warren Hill, Hollesley, after the Government announced sweeping changes to the prison system in September 2014.

Opened in 1982 to house Category C young offenders in closed conditions, Warren Hill was one of several jails chosen by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for a ‘reroll’ as part of plans to save the taxpayer more than £500m.

The first adult prisoners to arrive at Warren Hill were part of a ‘Therapeutic Community’ previously based at Blundeston near Lowestoft.

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