Julian Brazier, MP for Canterbury and Whitstable has expressed his sadness at the plans to close Canterbury prison. He said:
“This has been a great institution in the community for generations and I am extremely grateful to all the members of staff for the commitment they have brought to their jobs. I have already had a first discussion with the Minister and the priority is to ensure that staff at Canterbury prison are offered alternative employment in other prisons in Kent. I am also concerned that any not receiving job offers should be treated in a generous manner, appropriate to the number of years of service given.
“Sadly, at a time of extreme pressure on Government spending, we cannot continue to run a prison system where one place in every twelve is empty. It is inevitable that closures should fall on smaller, older prisons, like Canterbury, as they are the least economic.
“Ever since Michael Howard started the trend towards tougher prison sentencing, I have believed that tougher sentences from the courts would eventually result in a peaking and downturn in the prison population, as the message got out to criminals that crime no longer pays. The prison closures are a measure of the success of a prison policy which combines a tough line on sentencing with an enlightened approach to rehabilitation.”