The disused HMP Reading
Photography: Terry Smith

Britain’s prisons will be welcoming law-abiding citizens in the future as the UK government prepares to sell off Victorian jails for housing.

More than 3,000 homes will be created on the sites of several institutions around England and Wales, according to the BBC. The first of these is set to be the Grade II-listed HMP Reading, built in 1844 and closed in 2013, while prisons in London’s Pentonville and Brixton could also become housing.

‘So many of our jails are relics from Victorian times on prime real estate in our inner cities,’ Osborne said. ‘We will close old, outdated prisons in city centres and sell the sites to build thousands of much-needed new homes.’

hmp pentonville Peter Stubbs
HMP Pentonville could also be sold
Photography: Peter Stubbs

These plans form part of chancellor George Osborne’s spending review, due later this month.

Other disused jails, including the former Dover Prison and Surrey’s Downview Prison, are also expected to be sold.

The government will construct nine new, modernised jails to replace the outgoing fleet of prisons and save taxpayers an estimated £80 million a year.



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