Birmingham prison contract ended

1 Apr 2019 04:46 PM

Birmingham Prison will remain under public-sector control following the Government’s ‘step-in’, the Prisons Minister announced yesterday.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) took over the running of the prison for an initial six-month period in August 2018, which was extended in February until the end of the summer.

HMPPS has now decided, with the full agreement of G4S, to end the contract and bring HMP Birmingham back in-house.

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart yesterday said:

I am confident that HMP Birmingham has made good progress since the ‘step-in’ but to build on this, the prison needs stability and continuity.

That is why we have mutually agreed with G4S that the public sector is better placed to drive the long-term improvements required and the contract will end.

Our priority remains the safety of prisoners and staff but this move to restore and consolidate order at one of our most challenging jails will ultimately make sure that we are better protecting the public.

Minister Stewart emphasised that this move was a response to the specific circumstances faced by HMP Birmingham and the Urgent Notification received by the Secretary of State from HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.

He added:

We need to be absolutely clear that we still believe in a mixed economy of providers with some of our private prisons among the best performing in the country.

Indeed, G4S itself is running excellent prisons at Altcourse and Oakwood, and this Government believes passionately that private providers should continue to play a crucial role in our system.

As part of the decision to bring HMP Birmingham back into the public sector:

Work continues to drive-up standards at the prison and the action taken includes:

Notes to editors: