The Government has announced an extra £285 million-worth of improvements to courts and prisons this year, which will see hundreds of businesses supported and thousands of jobs created.
The extra funding comes on top of an estimated £600 million already earmarked for capital projects for 2020, including the construction of two new prisons.
With courts and prisons spread across England and Wales, the funding boost will create and sustain thousands of jobs across the country in the construction and digital industries. Over £140 million will be spent installing temporary prison cells, repairing and refurbishing prisons, approved premises and young offender institutions, and improving IT in jails.
A further £142 million will be pumped into the courts system to speed up the technological improvements and modernise courtrooms, building on rapid progress made to keep the system running during the coronavirus.
“PCCs across the country have been working closely with CJS partners to ensure the challenges the local CJS faces as a result of coronavirus are being effectively tackled, in particular, the backlog of cases in our courts.PCC Sue Mountstevens, Deputy Lead for Criminal Justice for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)
Sue added: “Victims need to be reassured that they are at the heart of everything we do, not only in policing but in the CJS.
“We recognise that fundamental changes are needed within the CJS and now is the opportunity to improve the victim experience, strengthen our wider partnership working and be equipped at supporting complex cases. The investment in technology will also ensure that we are maximising CJS efficiencies and delivering a truly joined-up service.”
“On behalf of all PCCs, I welcome the announcement from the Ministry of Justice, which sees £153m invested to improve court and tribunal buildings and a further £37m being made available to invest in technology. This has the added bonus of involving hundreds of local businesses to help deliver the work and, in turn, give a much-needed boost to the economy, which has greatly suffered due to the covid-19 crisis.Chair of the APCC Katy Bourne OBE