This special issue of the Prison Service Journal draws together a number of short articles and interviews with those involved with and affected by the closures and opening of prisons in England and Wales in the last few years. The issue seeks to explore the impact and effects of closures and openings of prison on those who work in and manage prisons, those who are confined within them, as well as on the relationships that these prisons have with the wider communities in which they exist. The guest editor, Paul Crossey, Head of Young People at HMYOI Feltham, and the various contributors bring together the collective experience of both closures and opening of prisons; documenting not only the decision making and its impacts on those within the closed prisons but also the challenges posed by new prison environments and the establishment of communities within them.
The first short article focuses on some of the older prisons that have been closed in the last two or three years, highlighting a little about their individual stories and the place of these prisons within a broader understanding of the history of imprisonment and changing penal estate. I hope that it also provides some context for the interviews with the staff and prisoners from some of these closed prisons that follow.
You may also be interested in ‘The Prison and the Public’, Prison Service Journal, Special Issue edited by Alana Barton and Alyson Brown (both at Edge Hull University), Issue No 214, July 2014.
By Professor Helen Johnston, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Hull
This article was previously published on the Our Criminal Past website in 2013.