A zero-emissions ‘smart prison’ will open in 2025. It will run on solar energy that will give prisoners tablets and laptops in their cells.
Kier is the construction firm that will start building the Category C facility in Full Sutton, East Yorkshire this autumn at a cost of £400 million, the government has announced.
The government said that it will be designed ‘from top-to-bottom with the latest smart technology to cut crime and protect the public’.
A spokesperson for HM Prison Service said: ‘All in-cell technology is fitted out with tough security measures and cannot be used to browse the internet.
‘Providing prisoners with laptops and tablets to access education and training so they can find work on release is proven to cut crime.’
It will have workshops and classrooms, so prisoners can learn new skills to find work on release.
It will also be the first new prison to operate as zero-carbon in the future.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told MailOnline it will be able to ‘outline in more detail the specific features the new prison will have as construction progresses’.
According to Prisoners’ Education Trust, the use of devices in prison cells is not new and is common in around 10 UK prisons.
These tablets and laptops in cells are connected to a secure prison intranet but have no wider internet access.
The Trust cited a 2017 study by the University of York, which found that prisoners that had been able to use technology in prison had a lower rate of reoffending in the first year after they were released.
The upcoming smart prison will be directly opposite HMP Full Sutton, an existing Category A, and B prison, meaning it houses some of the most dangerous criminals in the country.
James Bore, the tech expert and security consultant at Bores Group, told MailOnline that the term ‘smart’ is often put in front of another word ‘to add a bit of flair to a proposal’.
‘Really all a “smart” anything does, whether it’s a prison, a city, or a car, is use technology to measure and improve services,’ he told MailOnline.
Bore also said the new facility could be ‘an incredible achievement in the rehabilitation of offenders, giving them much-needed opportunities to develop useful skills and reducing the risk of re-offending’.
Digital learning company Coracle already supplies Google’s Chromebook laptops for use inside UK prisons and will extend the demand to the new prison as well.
Category A has high-security prisons with male prisoners who are most dangerous.
Category B includes either local or training prisons.
Category C has training and resettlement prisons that provide inmates the opportunity to develop skills so they can get work after their release.
Category D has ‘open prisons’ with the least amount of security that let prisoners spend most of their day away from the prison on the license to carry out work or education.
The new prison will have full fiber broadband and include workshops and classrooms, so inmates spend their time behind bars learning new skills to find work when they get out.
The prison will emit 90 percent less CO2 than HMP Five Wells.
40,000 tons of use of carbon will be prevented by using recycled concrete and steel during construction.
Electric vehicle charging points are also expected to be built around the prison car park for staff and visitors.