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BBC Wales' Hefina Rendle
"Residents are already angry at plans for a bail hostel"
 real 56k

Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Prison plans for women inmates
Parc Prison
Parc Prison was built with women prisoners a consideration
Wales's only privately-run prison has confirmed that it plans to set up the first facility of its kind for female prisoners.

The proposal for a 150-bed unit at Parc Prison, Bridgend, south Wales - which is run by Securicor - has been put forward to the Prison Service.

There are currently no facilities in Wales for women prisoners. They have to go to prisons across the border in England.

Parc spokeswoman Alison Williams said the plan was in its early stages.

A spokesperson for the Prison Service said there were currently no plans to lock women up in Wales because no Welsh jail had the facilities to house them.

Prison inmate
Parc Prison replaced older style establishments
She added that it could be years before the facility was up and running.

Ms Williams said the female prison population was growing very quickly.

She also added that it was important for women prisoners in Wales to be as close as possible to their families.

When Parc Prison was constructed, the issue of accommodating woman prisoners at a later stage was considered.

It is believed that approximately 100 Welsh women are being kept at English prisons.

Parc was the subject of protests earlier this year by villagers concerned at proposals to house a halfway hostel in the prison grounds.

On the day that the women inmate plans were revealed, a petition of over 4,500 signatures was delivered to Bridgend Council objecting to the hostel proposal.

Residents fear the hostel would be used to accommodate sex offenders, who would be able to roam the community unchecked - a claim the prison has denied.

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See also:

15 Sep 00 | Wales
Prison's inmate 'horse-trading'
31 Aug 00 | Wales
Protest at prison hostel plan
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