Suffolk open prison will house sex offenders in future
Sex offenders will be housed at an open prison in Suffolk, it has been confirmed.
Plans to permit sex offenders to be kept at Hollesley Bay prison near Woodbridge are set to go-ahead despite objections from the local community.
Hollesley Bay is classed as a category D prison and houses men aged 18 and over who have committed a variety of crimes. However, until this point no sex offenders have been housed at the prison.
Plans to house such offenders in the prison have been under consideration for the last five years.
Now it has been confirmed that such plans will be going ahead although no date as yet been set for when such prisoners will be held there.
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A spokesman for Hollesley Parish Council said that representatives of the Hollesley and Boyton parish councils had met with the prison governor, Gary Newnes, at the end of January, as part of semi-regular meetings between the groups.
At the meeting the councils were told that sex offenders would be housed at the prison in the future.
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However, it was also made clear that no such offenders would be accepted into the prison "until the security measures are in place and that wouldn't be in place until the autumn at the earliest."
Such measures would include recruiting more staff for the prison.
Hollesley village is just over a mile from the prison itself, as such the plans to house sex offenders at the prison have proven controversial there.
Many were concerned over the possibility of sex offenders absconding from the prison, following a number of incidents by those already housed there.
There had also been concerns locally that sex offenders may be among prisoners asked to help at local events.
Currently more than 100 prisoners work from Hollesley Bay work in the community as part of rehabilitation programmes.
However, it was confirmed that any decision to allow sex offenders to work in the community would be down to the prison itself who would have to confirm the suitability of any residents.
The Ministry of Justice declined to comment further on the decision at this time.