chapter  7
16 Pages

Prison Transport and Disciplined Mobility

Office 2013). The resulting geography of UK prisons is arguably characterised by a mismatch of facilities and demand for prison places, for example with the South West of England having more prison places than it ‘needs’ to serve the local population. This means that spare capacity in some of the isolated, rurallylocated prisons in the South West is filled by prisoners from London and the South East, dislocating prisoners from their home communities, making travel for visitors difficult and expensive, and compromising the ability of the prisons to deliver rehabilitative outcomes. Against this backdrop, the UK ‘think-tank’ Policy Exchange put forward a model for radical reform of the UK prison estate, based on a system of new, large ‘hub’ prisons which they argued would address this spatial mismatch (Lockyer 2013). One of the assumed merits of this approach, a key ‘benefit’ of the hub prisons, was argued to be their role as economic growth poles; despite the recent evidence from the US, detailed above, of the negligible economic benefit of prison location, the notion of ‘profit from punishment’ is still driving prison siting policy.