Fears for jobs grow as prison wing closes
A WING of Hull Prison has closed just weeks after the Government announced it would shut.
Dozens of prison officers face losing their jobs because of the closure of the jail's Victorian C and D wings.
Both were due to shut by March, but C wing closed last week.
Rob Nicholson, a prison officer at the Hedon Road jail and Prison Officers Association (POA) representative, said between 33 and 129 prison officers could be made redundant if both wings close.
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The Mail understands prisoners who were serving in C wing have been transferred to other jails.
Mr Nicholson said: "C wing at Hull has now closed and staff have been redeployed in other parts of the prison.
"D wing is still planned to close before March.
"The partial closure at Hull will mean that staff could face being made redundant, prisoners cannot achieve realistic targets in addressing offending behaviour prior to release, and prisoners' families are going to have to be prepared to travel across the country to visit."
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced the partial closure of Hull Prison earlier this month as part of nationwide shake-up of prisons.
The closure of both wings could mean the loss of 282 beds at the prison, which is authorised to hold 723 male prisoners, but held almost 1,000 at its last inspection.
Hull East MP Karl Turner has asked prisons minister Jeremy Wright to meet him to lobby against the closures.
Mr Turner said he also hoped to introduce Mr Wright to local members of the POA.
He said: "I hope he will be prepared to meet me and some of the officers. I would like to see him change his mind and keep C and D wing open.
"Hull is not a failing prison. It has always been run well and I believe C and D wing should remain open."
The wings will be mothballed, meaning they could be reopened if necessary.
Mr Turner said he was also concerned about the impact redundancies could have on the city's economy.
"If the job losses are closer to the higher end, prison officers say their safety will be at risk and that is very concerning.
"In an area with such high unemployment, we just can't afford to lose that many jobs either. The governor has told me most of the job losses would be voluntary, but we still don't need more jobs to go in Hull.
"If they are thrown on the dole, it will have a huge impact on the economy because they won't have jobs and they won't have as much money to spend."
As part of the government plans, six other jails across the country will close completely, with two others facing partial closures.
The Ministry of Justice also announced plans to create a 2,000-place "super jail", which will be located in London, North Wales or the north-west of England.
Mr Grayling said: "The decision to close, or partially close, places is based on the suitability, sustainability and the cost of this accommodation.
"We have to bring down the cost of our prison system, much of which is old and expensive."