Youth jail shut down over safety fears to be turned into men’s prison

The Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre will be refurbished and reopened in two years.

A youth jail which was shut down over serious safety concerns is set to be turned into a low security men’s prison.

The Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre will be refurbished and reopened in around two years’ time as an annexe of nearby category C jail HMP Onley, holding 131 men, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

The former secure unit near Rugby in Warwickshire closed in 2021 after it emerged the children being held there – who were aged between 12 and 17 –  were being locked up for more than 23 hours a day during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 33 inmates – who were serving jail time or being held on remand while facing court – were moved to another site after watchdogs raised serious concerns about the conditions and called on the Government to take urgent action.

Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money was spent for “nothing in return” because of “loopholes” in the agreement with US-based contractor MTC which was running the youth jail, MPs heard in May last year.

Prisons minister Damian Hinds said the announcement is the “latest step in our plans to create more prison places”, adding: “Alongside vital taxpayer savings and creating more jobs for the local economy, we are making sure that every acre of the prison estate is being used effectively to rehabilitate offenders and help them turn their backs on crime for good”.

The redevelopment of the site is expected to be completed by early 2025, according to the MoJ.

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